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Choi founded 16 Handles in his 20s in New York City and it has grown to 40+ locations internationally.

16 Handles founder Solomon Choi dies at age 44

Choi founded 16 Handles in 2008 as New York City’s first self-serve frozen yogurt restaurant

Solomon Choi, founder of the New York City-based, self-serve frozen yogurt company 16 Handles, has died at the age of 44. He was the CEO of 40-plus-unit chain 16 Handles until selling the company in 2022 to company franchisee Neil Hershman and YouTube star Danny Duncan. Choi was also the CEO of the next-gen restaurant, retail, and technology investment firm Jabba Brands (Chip City, Craveworthy Brands, the Kati Roll Company), which he founded in 2019.

“We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of 16 Handles’ Founder and former CEO Solomon Choi,” 16 Handles CEO Neil Hershman said in a statement. “He was a visionary who came to New York City in his 20s and founded this iconic frozen dessert brand. 16 Handles is where I got my personal start in franchising and I owe so much to Solomon for the opportunities, education, mentorship and friendship he provided to me throughout the years. Part of the mission statement for 16 Handles’ is to ‘create moments of happiness,’ and Solomon truly embodied this is his personal and professional life, always sporting a big smile and optimistic outlook. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all those who loved him and worked with him during this incredibly difficult time.”

Choi was born in South Korea in 1980 and attended high school and business school in California. In 2015, he met his future wife, Hannah, and they were married within six months of meeting, according to his obituary.

Besides 16 Handles and Jabba Brands, Choi was also an Angel Squad member at venture capital firm Hustle Fund, which invests in multiple sectors including food and beverage. He also founded and sold Greeno Products, a supplier of sustainable and disposable packaging for the foodservice industry.

Choi is survived by his parents, William WonJin Choi and Jennifer YunHwa Choi, his wife Hannah Chang-Choi, and their two children Jubilee and Joshua Choi.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

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