16 Handles founder, Manhasset resident Solomon Choi dies at 44

16 Handles founder, Manhasset resident Solomon Choi dies at 44
Solomon Choi died June 7 at 44. (Photo courtesy of Haven Funeral)

Solomon Choi, a Manhasset resident who founded a frozen yogurt company that grew to more than 40 locations nationwide, died June 7. He was 44.

The entrepreneur founded 16 Handles, the first-ever self-serve frozen yogurt shop in New York City. The company grew to include storefronts in Port Washington, Jericho, Garden City and Lynbrook.

“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 and I owe so much to Solomon for the opportunities, education, mentorship and friendship he provided to me throughout the years.”

Choi is survived by his parents, William WonJin Choi and Jennifer YunHwa Choi; his wife, Hannah Chang-Choi; their two children, Jubilee Choi and Joshua Choi; his sisters, Erica Choi and Esther Choi; his brothers-in-law George Kimmel and Brycen Faser; and his nieces and nephews, Tommy Kimmel, Noelle Kimmel and Forest Fauser.

Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea, before moving to the United States and graduating from Granada Hills High School in 1998 and the University of Southern California in 2002.

Choi met his wife, Hannah, at a 16 Handles store on the Upper West Side. They were engaged within 85 days and married within six months.

The businessman had decades of experience working in the food industry. In addition to founding and later selling 16 Handles, Choi founded and sold Greeno Products, a supplier of food service industry disposables.

He founded Jabba Brands in 2019. The company advises, invests in, and operates companies in the food service industry.

He was also involved in Hustle Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in start-ups.

“Part of the mission statement for 16 Handles’ is to ‘create moments of happiness,’ and Solomon truly embodied this [in] his personal and professional life, always sporting a big smile and optimistic outlook,” Hershman said. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all those who loved him and worked with him during this incredibly difficult time.”

Aside from his work endeavors, Choi led a Christian men’s group during his free time.

Services will be held at Promise Church in Queens on June 14 at 5 p.m. Burial services will be held at Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale on June 15 at 11 a.m.

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