In a Facebook post on Oct. 22, CherryBerry Springfield announced the business would be closing on Oct. 31. “Our sales have been declining the last couple of years; we did not have a good summer season,” said Denise Cash Hlad, manager of the family-run business. “That was the main reason for our decision to close.” Hlad’s brother, Jeff Cash, opened CherryBerry in 2011, which was the first Illinois location.
The CherryBerry franchise, based out of Oklahoma, has nearly two dozen stores nationwide, which now includes Decatur and Fairview Heights, Illinois. The Springfield store is located at 2671 Chatham Road, adjacent to the now-closed Smashburger restaurant.
“Our best year was 2013,” said Hlad. “In 2014, Chatham Road was closed down for the bridge work. Then in 2015 and 2016 we had the budget impasse. I think people just didn’t feel like they could spend extra money on a dessert.” Hlad noted that for their type of business, once customers get out of the habit of stopping in, it can be a challenge to become a part of their regular routine again.
While not the outcome she had hoped for, Hlad said she was grateful for the customers who have supported the business for the past seven years. “It’s been a good run; we’ve met a lot of very nice people.”