Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview Has Made an L.A. Yogurt Shop an Attraction

Humphrey Yogart in Sherman Oaks has seen a spike in foot traffic—and even had to bring on a publicist
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Meghan Markle may never be an official princess as far as the House of Windsor is concerned, but a few happy words from the former Duchess of Sussex during her otherwise heavy interview with Oprah Winfrey proved she’s definitely Hollywood royalty. A mention of Humphrey Yogart has turned the unassuming San Fernando Valley frozen treat shop into a must-visit destination.

“My first job was when I was 13 at a frozen yogurt shop called Humphrey Yogart,” the Montecito transplant recalled during the CBS special on Sunday.

By Monday morning, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the snack oasis at the back of the Gelson’s supermarket off Van Nuys Boulevard in Sherman Oaks had a line of customers, a phone that won’t stop ringing, and a publicist.

When THR rang the store, an employee forwarded the call to restaurant PR man Greg Rogers, a friend of owners Paula and Jim Sheftel who is temporarily handling Yogart’s brush with fame. Rogers says one of the first indications of Markle’s impact was that their inventory of ten T-shirts sporting the shop’s logo sold out shortly after the interview aired.

Meghan fans needn’t worry, though. The owners are following Rogers’s advice and stocking up on new merch branded with Humphrey Yogart’s 1994 logo to honor the days when Markle was soft-serving sugar fiends at the Beverly Connection locale. The old days were a heady time for the yogurteers, when HY was a mini L.A. empire with six stores and 80 employees—and counted Madonna, Bette Midler, and Drew Barrymore among its devoted guests.

The owners sold four of the shops during that era, kept the Sherman Oaks location, and with so many workers during its heyday, Paula Sheftel doesn’t actually remember Meghan. But Rogers, himself a Yogart veteran, remembers a celebrity encounter from way back.

“It was my first job when I moved to L.A.,” he tells THR. “I worked at the Brentwood store and right after I finished training, I turned around to greet my first customers and there was O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson.”

The Sheftels thought it could be gauche to officially bestow a title on a frosty treat in Meghan’s name, considering the somber subjects of her interview, but they are offering an off-menu item to celebrate their former employee. The Banana Royale is a mélange of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate chips, all said to be among Meghan’s favorites.

While the owners may not be mugging for the cameras anytime soon—“They are not public people,” Rogers says—Meghan conquered her own shyness when, as a purveyor of icy deliciousness, she spotted her idol Yasmine Bleeth in the distance.

“I saw her in the parking lot and what do I say to her?” Markle recounted in an interview. “The most ridiculous thing you could say: ‘Oh my God, I loved you in that Soft and Dri commercial! She just looked at me very blankly—‘Yeah, thank you.’ And I walked very meekly back into Humphrey Yogart.”


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