by Bob Doran
The ice cream parlor/restaurant Bon Boniere, a longtime institution on the Arcata Plaza, abruptly closed up shop and said goodbye yesterday.
Owner Kellen Moore, who took over the business in 2001 with several partners, is not leaving the ice cream business completely; her staff will still be selling ice cream cones and sandwiches out of Bon Boniere's Old Town Eureka location. And the business is not leaving Arcata entirely; its ice cream production facility is in the Foodworks Culinary Center in Arcata's Aldergrove Industrial Park.
Moore said she decided to focus on just one operation, and, after crunching some numbers, determined that the Eureka location was more profitable. She explained that three of the four owners are currently working on degrees in non-ice cream related areas and the time it took to run two businesses was getting to be an issue. “It was a tough decision. We were still making money [in Arcata], but you have to look at the hours it takes – it becomes the quality of life issue. Life won.”
An educated guess would suggest that competition was coming from the new Ultimate Yogurt franchise distributorship shop on another corner of the Plaza and the very successful Arcata Scoop, winner in the "Best Ice Cream/Yogurt" category in this week's Journal readers' poll.