Bohemian Raspberry bids farewell


Photo by Zach Ashare

Bohemian Raspberry storefront

Bohemian Raspberry, a frozen yogurt shop in Westfield, is set to close its doors on Oct. 31. Having served Westfield for the past 10 years, Bo-Raz, as it is commonly known, has pleased the palates of many. Initially set to close on Aug. 1, the frozen yogurt shop remained open for another three months after an agreement with its landlord. However, the landlord will no longer renew the lease as they see a future for their lot that does not include Bo-Raz.

It may come as a shock to some to hear that Bo-Raz is closing, as it has been a staple destination on hot summer nights, after sporting events and concerts or whenever you needed a sweet treat of some kind.

Serving frozen yogurt in a variety of flavors and offering an array of toppings, the possibilities are endless. Additionally, an assortment of drinks, such as coffee, smoothies and tea, are also available. “Our vision was just to be a community-minded local shop where people come in smiling and leave smiling bigger,” owner Barry Goldenberg said.

Bo-Raz has also been the first job of many high school students, one being WHS senior Pete Meixner. Meixner, who has been working there since September of 2021, said, “It’s awesome. [I have an] amazing boss, he really cares about his employees.”

Goldenberg, a Cranford native, opened Bo-Raz 10 years ago, just before Hurricane Sandy hit and damaged much of Westfield. “We were fortunate that we were one of the only places in town that had electricity, so we became a charging station, whatever food we had to give them, we gave them, and we had an ice machine going 24 hours a day,” he said. “That got the ball rolling, and we got a lot of support and loyalty from people.”

Before the opening, Goldenberg wasn’t a big fan of the idea of opening a frozen yogurt shop, because there were already four other yogurt shops in town, but his vision of Bo-Raz was not like the others.

“One of the first things we did, in the first weeks that we were open, was when the WHS girls volleyball team came in looking for a donation for Pink Out. Rather than give a donation, I thought, ‘What if we bring a machine over and make pink yogurt and give all proceeds to Pink Out?’ That’s how it really started,” Goldenberg said.

Despite shutting down, Goldenberg is keeping the thought of opening another location in the realm of possibilities. “I’m keeping my options open. If I can find a location similar to this one that has parking, I would think about it. I would do things differently in terms of the setup, but I’m open to [opening another location].”

Although it will be difficult moving on from Bohemian Raspberry, Meixner does plan on getting a new job. However, when he heard about a potential new location, he did not hesitate to say he would rejoin the business if Goldenberg was to find one. “This is my first job I’ve ever had. These are my people, my community. I’m here for Bo-Raz if we can stay open.”

Bohemian Raspberry, a Westfield landmark, may be closing its doors for the final time, but the sweet memories that many customers have of visiting the shop will almost certainly last a lifetime. With a little less than two weeks left to visit, it is not too late to stop by to enjoy your final treats and close out what has been a run to remember in Westfield.