Duncan’s Cherry Berry franchise closes

The year started out with bewilderment for the employees who worked at the local frozen yogurt chain, Cherry Berry.

“I showed up for work Thursday night; all the lights were off, and the doors were locked,” Skyler Baldwin, a former employee, said.

In a state of confusion, Baldwin attempted to call his manager, Jack Barnes.

“The first thing I tried to do was call Jack, and the call failed,” Baldwin said.

Since the closing on New Year’s Day, no one has been able to contact Barnes except for the corporate office of Cherry Berry. He had all ways of communication cut, he disconnected his phone, and he deleted all forms of social media. He even went as far to delete all his employees’ accounts on Schedule Base, a website designed for business owners to manage schedules. Attempts to contact him failed.  As far as anyone knows, Barnes has skipped town.

“All anyone has heard about Cherry Berry has been rumors and he-said she-said,” Baldwin said.

The only person who seems to know a lot about what happened to Cherry Berry is Chris Yarbrough, a former employee and 2013 graduate, who got all of his information from Cherry Berry’s former manager, Amos Smith.

“The store shut down because it wasn’t making enough money. It hasn’t been making enough money since last winter,” Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough believes that Duncan has some hand in Cherry Berry’s downfall.

“The fact of the matter is that people in Duncan have no sense of responsibility for helping local businesses; hence, businesses typically don’t stay open here for long at all.”

The Lawton Cherry Berry still made money, but was unable to sustain the losses from the Duncan store. Both stores were run by Barnes, and opened on loans.

Cherry Berry has recently come under fire for selling gift cards when they were knowingly going out of business. Customers were required to mail their gift cards to the corporate office to get a refund.

Some resent Barnes for leaving no hint that the store was closing down and leaving his employees jobless; some resent Duncan for not being friendlier to local businesses. With another small business disappearing, options are narrowed for Duncan.