“Sorry guys ;(, someone had trouble finding parking,” the store announced on Facebook that day. “We’ll be closed for the week due to repairs.”
But the store is still closed. The construction will end up taking closer to three weeks, with a reopening to come before March 18, says owner Mandy Lee Calara. They need to rebuild the damaged furniture, as well as reinstall new glass panes.
“We wanted to upgrade to removable panels for the windows” for the summer months, Calara said, but he thinks the owners already placed an order for the same windows they’d had before the crash. Fortunately, the shop has business-interruption insurance, which paid for what Forever Yogurt expected to have made had it not had that surprise early-morning visitor.
One of the few self-serve frozen-yogurt shops in Chicago, Forever Yogurt has done surprisingly well for its first winter here. Opening in June 2010, Calara wasn’t sure how sales would fare in the winter months. The fro-yo market is saturated in warm-weather places like California and Arizona, says Calara, and even on the East Coast, though Chicago “is probably one of the less desirable places to open.”
But their winter sales fared well—well enough, in fact, that Calara and his partner are planning to open 12 new stores in the next year, including three by March: one near the Belmont Red Line, one in the Gold Coast, and one in Naperville.
Customers are bummed about the temporary closing—the store’s Twitter and Facebook pages are filled with comments from fro-yo junkies hankering for their fix—although the pink-painted “SUGAR CRASH SITE. BRB!” on the wood panels where the glass used to be makes passersby smile.
Written by Ruthie Kott
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