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January 7, 2014

Cherry Berry future frozen

DUNCAN — Those craving a chilled sweet treat were met with a closed door this weekend when they visited Duncan’s Cherry Berry.

Outrage in the community spread fast over the sudden shutdown of the Duncan and Lawton locations and not because the business is one of few local places to get frozen yogurt. Several gift cards — only good at the Duncan and Lawton stores — were sold just before Christmas.

Cherry Berry stores are owned by individual franchisers. The Duncan and Lawton locations are run by Jack Barnes.

“I haven’t communicated with Jack but my personal experience is he was a good member of the Duncan Chamber (of Commerce) and of the community,” said Chris Deal, Duncan Chamber of Commerce president.

“The Chamber appreciates the many contributions he made to this community. Jack Barnes is a stand-up guy in my mind and I will keep that until I learn otherwise.”

Barnes gave no prior notice of closing his stores and there is not any written message in the windows of the Duncan location other than stating Cherry Berry would be closed for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

After the store closing and alleged poor business dealings were announced, much animosity toward Barnes has grown across social networks. Some are going even as far as threatening legal action. However, some who knew Barnes are expressing concern for his well-being.

“There could be a perfectly logical explanation and we don’t know his circumstances,” said Deal. “I would think someone who had built up all that good will, they would think to ask ‘are you okay’ instead of immediately bashing a man who adopted this community.

(If the store has closed), we would hope someone would pick up Cherry Berry but after all the bashing, who would want to?”

When contacted, the Cherry Berry corporate office said they had been contacted by Barnes but no other information was available. On the other hand, there is good new for those who bought giftcards.

“In these circumstances, we will offer to refund the giftcards,” said Anna Gastelum, executive assistant. “We will try to get the refunds sent out as soon as possible because of all the inconveniences all the customers have already endured.”

To receive a refund for a Duncan/Lawton Cherry Berry giftcard, first make a copy of the card and your receipt, if you have it, and save it for your records. Mail the card, receipt, or the amount the card was for if you do not have the receipt, to 4605 W. Kenosha, Broken Arrow, OK 74012.

For more information, email info@cherryberryfrozenyogurtbar.com.

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Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson talks during Wednesday's Duncan Rotary meeting.

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