About Larry and Jean:
Meet Larry and Jean!
Dr. Larry Murphy is a professor emeritus at the Garrett-Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, and Dr. Jean Murphy was a professor of education at Chicago State University and an adjunct professor at National Louis University and at the Erikson Institute, both in Chicago. Though they both dedicated their professional careers to higher education, Larry had, from early in life, an entrepreneurial spark inside, and Jean had gifts for management. After stepping down from teaching, the Murphys realized they were not yet ready to retire fully. Instead, they chose to open YoFresh Cafe, where they hoped to contribute to the Evanston community by providing an inviting communal space full of delicious, healthy food options, as well as through supportive partnerships with schools and community-serving agencies.
About the cafe:
We are a family-run cafe offering a welcoming, comfortable shop with free WiFi, lounge seating, a children’s play area, and ample free parking. We can also cater your event at your location.
In our 10 daily froyo selections, YoFresh offers 86 yogurt flavors that rotate seasonally. Our yogurts are kosher and full of immune-boosting probiotics; they include non-fat, gluten-free, dairy-free, and no sugar added options – healthier alternatives to traditional calorie-laden desserts. In addition to yogurt, we also serve coffee, smoothies, pastries, made-to-order sandwiches, mac n’ cheese, chili, pizza, and hot dogs.
We are open 7 days a week, 12:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Delivery is available through GrubHub, UberEats, Postmates, DoorDash, and BellyMelly . Curbside pickup is also available. Please visit us; you will enjoy the experience!
Our Ties To The Community:
As a small business in the Evanston community, we have a sense of responsibility to be an institution that cares for and ensures the well-being of the community, beyond any economic considerations.
We have been proud to provide a space for the YWCA to hold its monthly “Let’s Talk About Race” roundtable discussions, for PTA committee meetings, for elective candidate forums, for the Evanston “First Night” planning group, and other such organizational meetings. We have hosted youth musical recitals, multi-media arts and craft shows; giftware shows; and art exhibits of significant local artists.
On a weekly basis, we donate cups of froyo to the students and staff of the Rice Educational Center, a program of School District 65 for socially/emotionally challenged students.
We have contributed to the efforts of black businesses such as C&W Market and Ice Cream Parlor and Jennifer’s Edibles Restaurant to deliver free meals and grocery provisions to senior citizens.
YoFresh has co-sponsored multiple fundraising events for local public schools and charitable organizations.
YoFresh supports the Books and Breakfast program, which assists low income school children, by inviting the readers to come to YoFresh and present to our staff either an oral discussion or a written review of a book they have read, in exchange for which they will receive a free froyo cone.
Spontaneous Acts of Kindness
Through this program, we invite customers to post on our board a brief description of some act of unexpected kindness which they have done for someone else. In return, the person posting receives a free froyo cone.
YoFresh periodically hosts a “pop-up” bookstore for the not-for-profit Young, Black and Lit organization that promotes greater youth literacy by donating free books to students in the schools of Evanston School District 65. There is also space provided in our cafe at no charge for a regular mini-bookstore of Young, Black, and Lit books, which they sell to pay for the books they obtain from publishers for their giveaway program. YoFresh takes no profit or commission on these sales. We also host a pop-up Voter Registration booth.
Early in June, 2020, YoFresh hosted a “pop-up” event promoting the Juneteenth Holiday and the Black Lives Matter Movement. We were pleased by the enthusiastic, cross-racial response that turned out on that day.
YoFresh has moved to join in the extension of gratitude and celebration of our heroic healthcare workers by delivering weekly complimentary cups of frozen yogurt for the frontline COVID staff at Amita St. Francis and the Evanston Northshore University Hospitals.
YoFresh Cafe follows all the CDC guidelines for customer and staff safety, including the requirement of masks and our disposable glove for all staff and customers. We also require social distancing in the cafe, and throughout the business day we regularly sanitize all customer contact surfaces, both in-store and in our alfresco seating area.