Reporting Nick Janes
GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — The owner of a popular frozen yogurt shop is caught between California bathroom regulations and the historic designation of her building.
Inside Culture Shock, it’s no surprise to find a flurry of flavors and tubs of tempting problems. This place has just about everything, including a place to sit. But it’s what they don’t have that’s causing problems.
Forty years after opening on historic Mill Street, someone complained to the county that the shop doesn’t have a bathroom — a violation of the California Health and Safety Code, which states that a permanent food facility shall provide clean toilet facilities in good repair for customers.
“This being a historic building, there’s no way for us to comply with that. We can’t build a bathroom,” said Bobbi Guidicelli, owner. “That’s a utility closet. There is just no way to offer a bathroom here.”
Nevada County Environmental Health says the code is the code and Culture Shock has to comply.
“In a routine inspection we may have found that as a violation, but we do take our customer complaints seriously and followed up on that one immediately,” said interim director Daniel Chatigny.
Since it can’t build a bathroom, Culture Shock’s one option is to take all of its tables and chairs out and become a strictly to-go restaurant.
The shopowner fears that would drive away business to the point she couldn’t afford to stay open here. It’s already the least profitable of her three locations, but she wants to keep it to support downtown.
“This is really near and dear to not only my heart, but to a lot of people downtown,” said Guidicelli.
Another business on the block is stepping up with a sweet solution, offering to let Culture Shock customers use their restroom.
The county says as long as it’s within 200 feet it will bring the shop into compliance.
“Whatever’s going to happen has to happen fast. She’s been given until the 30th to figure something out,” said Chatigny. “No matter what, she says she’s determined to keep her doors open.”
On the other hand, Nevada County says they would be willing to extend the deadline as long as the shop shows it’s working to comply with the code.
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