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Lula’s Sweet Apothecary to Close? Are East Village Ice Cream Parlors Cursed?

Adorable children eating vegan softserve at Lula’s. Photo by edenpictures on flickr.

Do you remember your first visit to Lula’s? We do.

According to this New York Post he-said-she-said, the beloved spot is on shaky ground. Lula’s was founded by a married couple, Blythe Boyd and Derek Hackett. They both still own it, but they’re not married anymore. And they’re not at all agreeing about how to run the business, with Hackett filing court in Manhattan Supreme Court demanding the business be dissolved. Eek!

He says:

Boyd controls the operations and has looted, wasted or diverted for non-corporate purposes all assets. Boyd has substantially cut the hours of the retail location during the busiest season, the late spring and summer months, and as such continues to operate to the detriment of the shareholders.

She says:

This was my idea. Lula is the name of my niece. The whole vision was mine. Having been a vegan for 15 years I wanted to do something related to that cause. He expenses things through the company — sometimes his rent. He’s taking profits and not working here. If you’re not putting in any hours you’re not justified in taking 5 dollars. I shortened the winter hours this winter for the first time because I have to handle all the production at this point because he’s not around and I did the math it makes more sense to keep this hours for winter.

This comes not long after the demise of the nearby Stogo’s, also a victim squabbling owners.

Divorce can suck. But we really, really hope that parents and the court can ensure the best possible outcome for the kids, that being all of us who love love love love Lula’s awesome ice cream, and the wonderful shop they serve it in!

15 Comments

  1. Comment by

    Abby Bean

    on #

    It’s unfair to reduce Lula’s questionable future to “squabbling owners,” especially when you consider that what should have remained a private issue has become, through a series of sloppy and invasive journalism, unnecessarily public.

    Lula’s and staff are an integral part of the vegan community, the shoppe an iconic bastion of veganism in New York City. Let all of us who love Lula’s support them- both by continuing to be loyal customers, and by respecting their privacy.

    Incidentally, according to the article linked to in this post, Stogo closed because of high rent and the fallout from Sandy.

  2. Comment by

    Cathy Guevara

    on #

    ^ Agreed 100%

  3. Comment by

    Gabrielle

    on #

    Yeah. I work for a small business owned by a divorcing couple and things are coming up that affect us all, and affect the future of the business…but public speculation and blog opinions are a bit disrespectful when it comes to what sounds to be a painful breakup. Life happens. Ice cream is just a bonus.

  4. Comment by

    Insufferable Vegan

    on #

    Those first three comments seem way off the mark. “Disrespectful”? “Sloppy, invasive journalism”? Really?

    Court filings like this are public, period. Don’t blame journalism if the problem is the law.

    And once the Post reported it, I’d say it’s SuperVegan’s duty, as the leading New York vegan blog, to bring it to the attention of its readership.

    The Post piece has ample quotes from the owner, Blythe Boyd. She could have said, “No comment” but instead chose to go into the matter in some detail. And her ex-husband’s lawyer also gave some quotes.

    So anything in those first few comments suggesting that this is invasive or disrespectful is simply wrong.

  5. Comment by

    Abby Bean

    on #

    Insufferable Vegan:

    I maintain that it is absolutely disrespectful to air and publicly banter about someone’s personal business- regardless of whether or not “court filings…are public.” Let’s not forget these are actual people being discussed, not actors playing out a scene for our amusement.

    As for SuperVegan’s duty:
    -To regurgitate a rag mag’s probable misquotes?
    -Misrepresent the reason for another shop closing just to support a lazy post title?
    -Whine that the most important matter in all of this is that we continue to get our ice cream fix?
    I’d say it was more like a jump on the bandwagon of what everyone was already talking about from The Post and EV Grieve.

  6. Comment by

    Insufferable Vegan

    on #

    Hi Abby Bean,

    It’s not just someone’s personal business, it affects whether or not “an iconic bastion of veganism in New York City” will close. And just because you don’t think something is news doesn’t mean it’s not news. And while I’m no fan of the Post either I think it’s getting ahead of things to say the people in the article were probably misquoted when they’re not complaining that they were misquoted.

    I understand your concern for the people involved but I don’t know them, do you? I don’t know if they’re good people or bad people and, well, divorce can be painful no doubt, but not knowing the people I think it’s pretty apparent that the bigger issue for the neighborhood and for vegans is whether it will affect the existence of the business.

    Further, I think the term “bandwagon” is being used incorrectly here. Merriam-Webster defines it as: “A popular party, faction, or cause that attracts growing support — often used in such phrases as jump on the bandwagon.” The Post doesn’t seem to be against the closing of the shop and neither does EV Grieve. Of the three, Supervegan is the first to be bemoaning the possible closing and it might be tautologically impossible to jump on your own bandwagon.

    Maybe the author of the post can speak to what he meant about it being also a victim of squabbling owners; maybe he heard about something beyond the reasons given in the NYT piece.

    And the headline might be whimsical, or arch, but I don’t think it’s lazy. It seems perfectly reasonable to reference the recent closing of Stogo’s when talking about the possible demise of another East Village vegan ice cream shop.

  7. Comment by

    Insufferable Vegan

    on #

    P.S., Abby Bean, I just wanted to add that I’ve been a fan of your blog and my intent was to express my different opinion respectfully to you. Sometimes the Internet has a problem with tone and sometimes *I* have a problem with tone, so please know that I’m just trying to let you know that I see this matter differently but am not intending to be disrespectful myself. :)

  8. Comment by

    Abby Bean

    on #

    Hi Insufferable Vegan,

    I certainly respect differing opinions and debate, but the problem- as I see it, is that this ceased being simply about the business of Lula’s when the personal lives of those involved became the “news”. People are concerned about losing a favorite spot, sure, but they’re also hanging on the drama as if it’s a series. New York is large, but Lula’s has consistently welcomed everyone as a friend; in appreciation, the people involved deserve at least their personal privacy. And, while I do happen to know them, I would say that of anyone.

  9. Comment by

    harlemB

    on #

    All matters of respect and disrespect aside, I am sorry to hear that Lula’s is in danger. Their offerings are delicious and the place will be missed.

  10. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    “maybe he heard about something beyond the reasons given in the NYT piece.” Yes, maybe he did! Sandy didn’t help, but … It’s not like all the other businesses in the neighborhood closed after Sandy.

  11. Comment by

    chloe

    on #

    can’t we all just get along? :(

  12. Comment by

    Andrea Wachner

    on #

    @Chloe, cleary not! That’s why the divorce rate is so high!

  13. Comment by

    al oof

    on #

    to abby bean: there isn’t anything in this post that is talking about the owners’ personal lives, outside of the fact that they disagree about this business. if they had not been married, but were encountering the same business problems, would you see this as disrespectful?

    the reason their divorce is the news, is that their divorce is the reason lula’s is threatening closure. if the article discussed why they were divorcing, which it doesn’t, or other things about their relationship, which it doesn’t, i might agree with you. but as it is, the article is basically, ‘this business might end because the owners are disagreeing about how to run their shared asset as their life partnership ends.’

  14. Comment by

    Charlie

    on #

    Bottom line: Don’t go into business with a woman. Even seemingly compassionate vegan women turn out to be vindictive bitches when they don’t get their way.

  15. Comment by

    Brandon

    on #

    Charlie, your comments are immature, misogynistic, and sexist, and have no place on this blog, the internet, or this society. Grow up.

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