End of an era

YoFresh Frozen Yogurt Café, in DeForest Towne Center, is closing its doors May 23 after five years in business.

There’s still time to get a last treat or two at YoFresh Frozen Yogurt Café before the place closes for good.

Owner Sylvie Morissette Wipperfurth recently announced via Facebook that the business will permanently shut its doors May 23. She started it with the idea that a frozen yogurt place was just what the community needed.

“I just thought it was something DeForest was lacking, and I guess I was right,” said Sylvie Morissette Wipperfurth, the owner. “What I’m hearing now is kids saying, ‘Where are we going to go after school?’ It’s been a hangout, a place they could walk to.”

Wipperfurth said the lease for the business was expiring at the end of June. She said she had debated extending it, but then the COVID-19 pandemic came along, which led to it closing for five weeks.

YoFresh reopened April 27, but in the weeks since, business hasn’t been as good as Wipperfurth thought, and that factored into her decision to close.

Interestingly, YoFresh will end its run almost five years to the day it first opened. Wipperfurth recalled that it first opened on Memorial Day.

Wipperfurth will miss the customers.

“The kids were always happy coming in,” said Wipperfurth. “We had a lot of regulars who would come in weekly, or almost weekly.”

She said children loved the self-serve aspect of it and being able to pick from a wide variety of toppings.

“They had piles of fun getting it themselves,” said Wipperfurth.

In the last year, YoFresh had expanded its offerings to include ice cream, custard, sorbet and Italian ice.

Before getting into the frozen yogurt business, Wipperfurth and her ex-husband owned a construction business. She took care of the books.

“Other than that, I was a stay-at-home mom,” said Wipperfurth.

After that ended, she decided it was time to get out of the house. She’d never created a retail business before.

“It was the first time I’d done anything like it,” said Wipperfurth.

YoFresh was open all year long, except for a two-week break over Christmas. She realized the first winter it was open that Christmastime was not a busy stretch for a frozen yogurt place.

“I haven’t closed for more than a few weeks at a time,” said Wipperfurth.

As for the future, Wipperfurth isn’t sure what she’s going to do next.

“One thing I’m sure of is I’m not doing retail again,” said Wipperfurth. “My times working weekends and nights are done.”

Nevertheless, the business was fun for the most part, although she wonders if it would have been more successful in a warmer locale.

“I don’t know if, because it was seasonal, Wisconsin was the right place for it,” said Wipperfurth.

On the other hand, she said, “I enjoyed doing it. It was very popular in the community.”

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