Another frozen yogurt place looks to open in Evanston this summer

Bailey Williams, Assistant City Editor

Just months after the city experienced record-breaking freezing temperatures, a third frozen dessert shop has announced plans to open in Evanston.

Forty-year residents of Evanston are looking to open a community-oriented frozen yogurt store that could start selling as early as late June or early July.

YoFresh Yogurt Cafe, 635 Chicago Ave., will offer 18 different flavors, a mixture of both straight and combined flavors. Although froyo will be its primary offering, owner Larry Murphy said gelato, Italian ice, smoothies and a number of other options will differentiate the store from others.

Murphy, who owns the store with his wife, said the goal is for the store to be “a community-based operation.” He said they want to open their store to the community by making the it available for town meetings and local organizations. The store will also look to hire locally and offer itself as a space for children’s birthday celebrations, he said.

Talk about the store comes at the same time as a number of other frozen dessert options are making their way to Evanston, including Frio Gelato, 1701 Simpson St., an Argentine-inspired gelato shop, and Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, 809 Davis St.

(New gelato storefront to open in Evanston)

The city’s economic development coordinator Paul Zalmezak said he is unsure of what caused the sudden surge in frozen dessert stores. He said Evanston is a strong location for those types of restaurants, as they cater to a diverse crowd of incomes and people, from schoolchildren in younger grades to college students.

Frozen yogurt specifically appeals to Evanston as it offers a healthier option, Zalmezak said.

Murphy also said frozen yogurt places were “hot in the market,” partly because “people can feel better about going out to dessert.”

This increase of frozen dessert stores in Evanston comes after a winter with record-breaking snowfall. However, this is not an anomaly, Zalmezak said, due to popularity of frozen desserts during the summer.

“Ice cream is a tough business … anywhere in the U.S.,” Zalmezak said. He stressed the importance of diversifying the city’s options during off-seasons.

Murphy said offering seasonal options, like an apple pie flavor in the fall and holiday-themed desserts can reverse “the negative pull of the weather against the idea of a cold dessert.”

Some representatives from other Evanston frozen dessert stores said they did not really consider similar shops competition.

Murphy said the location of YoFresh would set it apart from existing downtown Evanston stores Forever Yogurt and Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, which opened last month.

(International frozen yogurt company Tutti Frutti comes to Evanston)

“Support the one you like,” said Andy Kuntz, the president of Andy’s Frozen Custard. “I’m sure everybody doesn’t go to the same place every time.”

Murphy said he felt his store stands to offer residents and visitors a unique experience. He said the YoFresh in Evanston will not only be in line with the franchise’s “current national emphasis on healthy eating,” but will also try to use its profits to support youth development and social initiatives.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @news_BaileyW