(SARASOTA, Fla.) — After 20 years of serving desserts for Sarasota residents, Sweetberries closed its doors on Aug. 13 – it’s the latest of a series of staple businesses to close this year.
A Facebook announcement on their page was made on Aug. 3 releasing the decision about the closure. “This decision did not come lightly but we feel it is best for our business and our family at this time. We deeply appreciate the way the Sarasota community has embraced us, and it has been our honor to serve you for the past 20 years,” according to the post.
Cory Williams, the manager of Sweetberries on Clark Road, said that their decision was because one of the owners passed away.
Sweetberries has been one of the community’s staple businesses, particularly for their ice cream and custard. Their second location in Bradenton will remain open.“It has been busier at the Bradenton store since closing the Sarasota one. Our customers have been loyal during this change and it was the Bradenton location that was always busier to begin with being closer to downtown,” Williams, who has worked at Sweetberries for nearly seven years, said.
The Bradenton store is approximately 30 minutes away from Sarasota and is located off of Manatee Avenue.
Customers had left comments on the Facebook announcement sharing their stories and memories at Sweetberries. “I had been going there since I was a kid with my dad. I remember always getting the cake batter ice cream. It was my favorite memory with him,” Bianca Romano, 25, a regular customer and Sarasota native, said.
This year, other Sarasota businesses have also made their announcements to close doors.
One of the city’s oldest art galleries, Art Uptown, shut down on Aug. 26 after 43 years in business because their rent increased. “The building has been sold, and the gallery was unable to negotiate a lease price that would allow us to continue,” said Melane Carlstein, the gallery’s board president said in a press release.