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Pinkberry frozen yogurt closes shops in Tampa area


Published:   |   Updated: June 26, 2013 at 01:14 PM

TAMPA - The Pinkberry company that helped spark the recent frozen yogurt frenzy in the United States is starting to close down locations in the Tampa Bay area. The Pinkberry location at WestShore Plaza that opened in March 2011 will close by July 7, and the company will also soon close down its Westfield Citrus Park mall location, according to employees on site.

Messages left with the Santa Monica-based company have not yet been returned.

On Twitter, @PinkberryTampa began responding to questions, with this statement. "We regret to inform you, but we had to make a tough business decision. Thank you for your loyalty & support!"

Pinkberry first gained popularity in California, and benefited from media frenzy around celebrities who seemed to adore the yogurt. The business model had staffers load up a cup or cone of frozen yogurt, and add fresh toppings such as fruit, as well as candies, caramel and chocolate. The fast growth of Pinkberry helped spawn a horde of similar companies, including several that opened up in the Tampa Bay area, including Yogurtology, Yogurt Spot, You Say When and most recently Orange Leaf. Some chains such as Menchie's promised to build dozens of locations in the Tampa Bay area.

Those chains had a slightly different model that let customers load up their own yogurt cups from a wall of different flavor taps, and then add their own toppings. Most recently, Orange Leaf opened a location in Carrollwood.

rmullins@tampatrib.com 813-259-7919 Twitter: @Dailydeadline.

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