Harlee James tops some yogurt with Oreo topping.
Harlee James helps Claudia Davis with her yogurt.
Harlee James cleans the counters at Sweet Frog.
SweetFrog, located off Sunset Avenue in Clinton, closed its doors for good on Wednesday.
Payton Mozee-Grissett puts sprinkles on her yogurt.
Mariah Mozee-Dixon waits for her frozen yogurt to be weighed.
Families made their way through SweetFrog as the business opened shop for one last day here in Clinton. The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be too much for the small business as owners chose not to renew their lease at the end of the month.
According to Operating Manager Harlee James, SweetFrog fell due to COVID-19 issues and a lack of community support, James stating it was mostly dead. The only time Jones saw the place packed was on promotional weekends when cups had a flat price and the customers didn’t pay by the weight of the cup.
“Monday they were contemplating the decision, but as of yesterday morning (Tuesday), they made the final decision,” Jones stated of the decision to close down for good. “Our lease was up at the end of the month and then COVID affected the business so much it wasn’t in the funds to renew our contract at the end of the month.”
Jones and the rest of the employees were given the opportunity to join another SweetFrog location in Durham. She lives in Clinton with her fiancé and plans to make the drive to work while maintaining her residence here. Jones stated that having to drive all the way to Durham is going to be hard, but she will attempt it.
Jones is originally from Wallace.
“It’s not a happy thing, but some of us are getting the opportunity to work in Durham, which is our sister city — which helps a little bit, but it’s sad to see it go,” Jones commented. “I know it’s something the community does enjoy, especially the kids enjoy coming in. Our biggest clientele is probably kids and their parents more likely, especially birthday parties.”
SweetFrog offers smoothies, frappés and shakes. SweetFrog has 16 self-serve flavors to choose from and over 50 toppings. There are other SweetFrogs in the area, including those in Dunn and Fayetteville.
“I’m just really disappointed that they’re closing,” Claudia Davis, a SweetFrog customer stated. “We like to come here a lot. I’m sorry. I guess it’s just the times with the COVID. I hate it when a small business closes.”
Brendaly Vega Davis can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2588.