Meghan Markle Once Worked At Humphrey Yogart. Here's The Scoop On The LA Froyo Shop
Of all the frozen yogurt joints in all the towns in all the world, Meghan Markle worked at this one — Humphrey Yogart.
During Sunday night's interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle mentioned that when she moved to Los Angeles, she worked at Humphrey Yogart. The nostalgic reference made many Angelenos smile. In the rest of the country (any maybe the world), people wondered: "Is that place for real?"
Yes, Humphrey Yogart is real — and it's spectacular.
At its peak, the L.A.-based fro-yo chain had six locations: Sherman Oaks, Brentwood, Beverly Connection, Melrose, Northridge and Santa Monica. Although it has long since closed, Markle worked at the one on La Cienega Blvd. in the Beverly Connection where it was near the Souplantation, which has also closed.
Only the Sherman Oaks outpost of Humphrey Yogart, the original location, remains open.
A Little History
Husband-and-wife team Maria and Raphael Baker opened the first Humphrey Yogart in Sherman Oaks in 1984, according to the bio on their website. No word on why they chose the name. Actor Humphrey Bogart wasn't famous for a love of dairy. Maybe the Bakers just liked the pun.
Two years later, in 1986, Paula Armour, who was then a field consultant for McDonald's, bought the shop from them for $110,000.
She still owns Humphrey Yogart and runs it alongside her husband of 20 years, Jim Sheftel, who asked her out after walking in and ordering a blueberry smoothie. (He had been sent by her landlord, who was trying to fix the two up. It worked.)
With smoothies, milkshakes and nearly four dozen toppings you could have blended into your fro-yo selection (not just sprinkled on top), Humphrey Yogart was a hit.
In the late 1980s, the Sheftels began expanding and opening more shops. By the mid-1990s, when Paula was pregnant with their second child, they decided to pull back. They sold four stores but kept the location in Sherman Oaks. (The original shop was in the same plaza it is in now, but they moved into Gelson's four years ago.) All the other locations have since closed.
If you want to find Humphrey Yogart, head to the Gelson's supermarket on Van Nuys Blvd., walk toward the back, past the deli and the Viktor Benes pastry display, and you'll find the font of frozen yogurt.
Sheftel was too busy to talk when we visited today. She said her phone has been ringing off the hook since 7 a.m. The same thing happened four years ago, when Markle got engaged to Prince Harry.
Sheftel says she was busy managing other Humphrey Yogart locations so she never met Markle during her time working there. The shop may soon start selling t-shirts featuring its fabulous name.
The frozen yogurt is still on point. The number of toppings is still overwhelming. And thanks to Twitter user @22jshu, we decided we'd also try their acai bowl. We got the "Alex special," an acai bowl with granola, almond butter, bananas and strawberries — and it was as delicious as promised.
That's the scoop on Humphrey Yogart.