Josi's Frozen Yogurt Cafe to Start Chilling in Portage Park Saturday

By Heather Cherone on May 16, 2014 6:51am 

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  The Six Corners cafe is named after Barbara Ries Murphy's two children, John and Sifeta.
Josi's Frozen Yogurt Cafe
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PORTAGE PARK — Cups of Dreamy Dark Chocolate frozen yogurt smothered in Reese's Pieces peanut butter candies and sprinkles will be on tap at Josi's Frozen Yogurt Cafe, a new sweets shop set to open Saturday in the Six Corners Shopping District.

Named for owner Barbara Ries Murphy's two children, John, 9, and Sifeta, 18, Josi's was born from Murphy's love of frozen yogurt — and a desire to restore Six Corners to its former glory as a bustling business district attracting shoppers from all over the city.

"I was drawn here," Murphy said, who used to go shopping with her mom at Six Corners when it was the premier shopping district in Chicago outside the Loop. "I love this area. I remember it as the best place to go shopping. I'd like to be a part of making that happen again."

Heather Cherone joins DNAinfo Radio to chat about Josi's Frozen Yogurt Cafe:

Josi's, 4032 N. Milwaukee Ave., will be just two doors down from Community, a new gastro pub from Quay Tao, the owner of the Portage, which promises upscale, classic American food and a relaxed atmosphere once it opens next month.

The restaurants are two of more than a half-dozen new businesses slated to open in the next several months in the shopping district, including Jimmy John's and Chipotle.

"It has been exciting and fun," Murphy said, adding that it took her nine months to get the city to sign off on her opening day. "It has been great to watch it all come together."

Murphy received her business license from the city Thursday, and the fro yo will start flowing at 11 a.m. Saturday.

After staying home to care for her son John, who has special needs, Murphy, who worked for Xerox before her son was born, said she decided to return to work — but didn't want to sit at a desk all day.

"I figured I had run a business before, so I could do it again," Murphy said, adding that she and her husband have run K.E. Murphy Masonry for nearly 20 years together.

Eight flavors of frozen yogurt will be on tap at Josi's, including Espresso and Cookies and Cream, which won Murphy's unscientific Facebook poll of favorite frozen yogurt flavors.

Available in 8- and 16-ounce cups, the yogurt is only half the story at Josi's, which will offer a self-serve bar featuring every imaginable topping, including candy, cookies and sprinkles.

A small kids' corner stocked with toys and games will help the little ones burn off their sugar rush, Murphy said. 

Murphy, who also helped found Portage Park Helping Hands to benefit Portage Park Elementary School, said Josi's would showcase other small businesses, like cookies and scones from Fannie Schmoe's Bakery as well as T-shirts with Josi's logo printed by Replica Chicago.

"Its so hard to be a local business person," said Murphy, who has lived in Portage Park for 13 years. "I want to support them."

Murphy praised Ald. John Arena (45th) for working to turn the Six Corners Shopping District into an arts and culture mecca that would draw people from all over the city — and for helping her navigate the red tape at City Hall.

"There is not one frozen yogurt place for miles," Murphy said. "It is going to be great."

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