Out cold

Rising rents freeze Austin ice cream shop out of campus-area location

Rising rents freeze Austin ice cream shop out of campus-area location

Moojo ice cream sandwich Austin restaurant 2015
Moojo closed its only brick-and-mortar in December. MOOJO/Facebook

A local business has been frozen out of The Drag. Moojo, a sweets shop specializing in ice cream sandwiches, closed on December 10, according to catering manager Laurie Gardiner.

Gardiner tells CultureMap that the company usually takes a hiatus in December while University of Texas at Austin students are on winter break. But this year Moojo was delivered the unwelcome surprise of a rent increase. Faced with shrinking margins, owners Matt and Ashley Peterson decided it was time to shutter

The Petersons first opened the 2322 Guadalupe St. shop after moving from California in June 2015. The business applied the Chipotle-style assembly line to frozen desserts. The sandwiches were fully customizable with a wide variety of cookies, ice cream flavors, and toppings.

Though the Petersons had once positioned the brand as a potential franchise, Gardiner says, for now, the business will live on through its catering operation. The hope is that private events will help raise enough capital that the business can find another small location and bring the shop back to Austin.

Moojo isn’t the only company to have vacated the campus-adjacent block in recent months. In November, popular chain Austin’s Pizza announced via social media that it was consolidating operations from 2324 Guadalupe St.  — the space next to Moojo — to its newer 2928 Guadalupe St. location just a few blocks north. CultureMap has reached out to the company for comment.