Josette Fourte went her entire life disliking yogurt, but that all changed shortly after returning from Hawaii.
The wife, and mother of two girls, is opening a franchise business with her husband, Kevin, after sampling frozen yogurt and falling in love with the taste. They are the first Black couple to open up Forever Yogurt franchise, according to corporation officials.
“I couldn’t believe it was yogurt,” Josette said. “I said if this is what it tastes like then I can eat this as a frozen desert.”
And that’s exactly what she did.
She and her husband were vacationing in Hawaii with daughters Kendra and Jaida last year when the girls became hooked on the island’s local frozen yogurt shop. Their craving for the sweet and creamy treat could not be sated, so once they returned home, they went on a hunt for the same place. It was here in the states that the mother decided to try some for herself and that’s when she fell in love.
With her husband already owning a business, it was no difficult task for them to open up another one. He worked as a police officer with the Cook County Sheriff’s office and after 24 years retired last February. Now, the entrepreneur will be managing the First Response Ambulance Company, a small business he started eight years ago, and Forever Yogurt in Homewood, a suburb about 20 miles South of Chicago. Fourte’s wife is the former HR supervisor of the Board of Education with Chicago Public Schools and works as a real estate broker and occasionally teaches on the side. The family moved to the suburb two years ago.
How they became business owners of a frozen yogurt chain is actually quite simple. Jaida, their youngest daughter, is in 8th grade and when she got her braces put on in January, she was in some pain. Her father wanted to help ease it so he went looking for something cold for her mouth.
“I was driving past a Forever Yogurt store and saw frozen yogurt,” he said. “We had never been in it, but we stopped.”
Fourte said he was immediately drawn to the decor of the establishment, which led him to ask for information on participating in the franchise.
“I discovered the product and Kevin discovered the location,” is how his wife explained it.
So why Homewood and not Chicago? Well they said they saw an opportunity for one since there are no other frozen yogurt business in their vicinity.
Josette said people are also more health conscious now so offering the community frozen yogurt over ice cream was a good idea.
The franchise allows business owners to customize the location so it fits the community. For example, the Fourtes will put up a “Welcome to Homewood” sign in the window. Their business will offer 21 different rotating flavors as well as 30-40 different toppings that range from gummibears, fruit and nuts, they said.
The business will be located in Cherry Creek Plaza, near 183rd and Governors Highway. Construction should begin by June 11 and be completed by the end of July.