Buttercup’s shutting its downtown doors amid ‘tough economy’

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Members of the crew at Buttercup’s Frozen Yogurt said farewell Monday in a Facebook post, announcing that the downtown sweet shop will shut down before Christmas.

“Buttercup’s will be closing this Sunday, Dec. 22nd,” the Facebook announcement read. “We have truly enjoyed serving you these past 2+ years! Thank you for your support, we wish you all the best! –The Buttercup’s Staff.”

Co-owner Lexie Spirinac said that after much discussion with business partner Josh Mitchell, the two decided to call it quits. The 1,800-square-foot parlor has been in Suite 110 of the U.S. Olympic Committee building at 27 S. Tejon St. since mid-2011.

“Josh and I did a lot of thinking and finally just decided to close the shop,” she said. “It’s best for the store and it’s best for both of us.”

Although Spirinac said the shutdown is entirely voluntary, she also cited issues related to competition — there are more than a dozen frozen yogurt vendors around town — downtown parking and what she referred to as a “tough economy.”

Although engaged in her role as co-owner, Spirinac has not been active in day-to-day operations since gaining full-time employment with the USOC a year ago. She works in both strategic planning as well as diversity and inclusion.

“We really enjoyed the experience … but it’s just time for our next adventure,” she said, adding that starting a small business at such a young age is “extremely challenging.” Both partners are now 25.

Spirinac said that she and Mitchell will retain the store’s trademark and franchising rights and that “if someone was interested in franchising down the road, we would be 100 percent interested in getting off the ground with that.” She said that prospective tenants are considering taking over the space upon Buttercup’s closure.

Buttercup’s — named after their dog, whose name came from the 1987 film “Princess Bride” — employs nine part-time workers.

“It’s always tough,” Spirinac said. “We have great employees and great customers. But we’ve done a lot of thinking the past couple of months about the path we want to go to down, and this is the decision we’ve made.”

This is the fourth small business in and around downtown to close. Others include the Olive Branch, 23 S. Tejon St.; Curry Leaf, 321 N. Tejon St.; and the Little Market and Deli, 749 E. Willamette Ave.

“I’m sorry to see Buttercup’s go,” said Susan Edmondson, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership. “Launching an independent small business is always tough, and these past few years have been especially rough for small business.”

Buttercup’s, which has prided itself on 100 percent natural products with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, specialized in yogurt made from the milk of local, hormone-free dairy cows. Buttercup’s placed third in the frozen yogurt category in the Colorado Springs Independent’s 20th annual Best of Colorado Springs awards this year.