Carrolls Cup

Pat Carroll, owner of Carroll's Cup, serves a cup of frozen yogurt in his shop in the subway downtown Monday, November 11, 2019. (Ken Klotzbach/kklotzbach@postbulletin.com)

To be clear, no changes are planned for downtown Rochester's most popular popcorn place, Carroll's Corn.

However, the end is coming for the associated Carroll's Cup, theĀ self-serve frozen yogurt shop in Kahler Grand Hotel subway.

Pat Carroll, who owns both snack shops, says his 8-year-old frozen yogurt business will close at the end of November.

"It's been a decision that has taken months to make," he said sitting outside of the 550-square-foot yogurt business, next to Carroll's Corn. "The numbers are just not there any more."

He plans to shift the Carroll's Cup space over to handling Carroll's Corn holiday orders soon. He'll wrap things up there for good by Dec. 31 to make way for a future tenant. Carroll stresses that his landlord, Kahler Hospitality Group, "tried hard to make this work."

Carroll's Cup opened in 2011. A variety of factors came into play to spur the end of the shop, including the cooling of the popularity of the frozen yogurt trend, said Carroll.

"Finding parking for help and for customers is part of it. Part of it is all of the construction in downtown," he said. "Plans to add bike lanes around the hotel means more parking will be going away in the future."

Mayo Clinic's moving some employees from downtown to West Circle Drive and 41st Street Northwest also means that many regular customers won't be stopping by for their work breaks, he added.

What about the 26-year-old popcorn shop?

"The brand of Carroll's Corn is well known enough to still do OK," said Carroll, who employees eight to nine employees downtown.

While he is a supporter of Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center economic development initiative, he says it might be too long-term of a bet for many small businesses.

"DMC hasn't paid off ... yet. I think it will, but a lot of small businesses can't afford to keep waiting," said Carroll.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street. Send tips or questions to jkiger@postbulletin.com or call 507-285-7798.

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