Brian Zoubek never experienced the sweet taste of success—at least not in the latest chapter of his young life.
The 24-year-old, Duke NCAA basketball champion and Haddonfield Memorial High School standout opened a gourmet cream puff shop in July 2012 with the fanfare of national media after a Haddonfield Patch article went viral.
But a plain sheet of white paper taped inside the front window of Dream Puffz Creations, his Haddon Ave. bakery, spelled out an untimely epitaph this week.
"Unfortunately, we are now closed for the time being," the sign read. "Thank you for all your support and business..."
Late Tuesday evening, after a bout of soul searching, Zoubek said he decided to shutter the business this Saturday.
"I learned more in the last six months than I did in the first 24 years of my life," Zoubek said in a telephone interview.
"Just one of those things; learned a lot, but discovered it was not for me. It's not like it needed to close, it could have kept going. But I had to make a decision to commitment or move on to something I might enjoy more, or get more out of."
Zoubek's decision was so swift that several customers who had orders were urged to email him for refunds. He said all customers had been reimbursed by Tuesday night. They can still reach him at email@example.com.
Zoubek said the cream puff business turned out to be a little tougher than he'd thought.
"A couple of things that I thought might be able to happen, such as online shipping, I figured out you really can't do, at least not at the same quality, and also in terms of wholesaling and the expansion of the product," he said.
Zoubek, who won an NCAA title with Duke University in 2010, said he has begun to dabble in real-estate investment, which could be his next business venture. He said he was grateful for the support his business got in his hometown and thanked his customers.
"If you find out you're not doing what you want to do every day, then you make a change," he said. "Life's too short."
Even when you're 7-foot-1.