A 'Whole Family Thing': Sisters, Longtime Fans Take Over Custard Shop

July 1, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

MIDLOTHIAN, IL — They’ve swapped out the “2” for a “3,” but the new owners of a beloved custard shop in Midlothian think it’s otherwise just as perfect as the first day they tried it.

Three sisters—and several other family members—have taken on a labor of love, scooping up beloved 2Sisters Frozen Custard, 4734 147th St., after its original owners decided to retire.

New owners Kathy Vargas, Theresa Zambrano, and Michelle Gibbons Warren say they know they have a gem on their hands—they’ve loved it for years.

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Vargas, who has lived in Midlothian for 20 years, was within a 5-minute walk of the sweets shop, and she and her kids would frequent it.

“When I heard it was potentially going to be closed, I sent a text out to everyone, ‘We’ve got to do something,'” Vargas, 47, told Patch.

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It’s a sweet surprise that it’s ended up back in the hands of sisters. The shop was previously owned by Lisa Callaghan and her husband Pat, but was started nearly 20 years ago by sisters Callaghan and Bev Thomas. The business first opened in Oak Forest in 2004, just a small orange awning and pop-in window next to SakeBob on 159th Street. They later moved to the Midlothian spot, where they grew their following and enjoyed every minute. The couple announced in September that they would be retiring, and the shop and everything in it would be available for someone who wanted to pick up their dream where they left off.

The idea to swoop in and take over started with Vargas and her son Marco, 29, who died suddenly before they could bring it to fruition. From there, it grew outward, now including Vargas’ daughter-in-law and grandson Autumn and Daylon; Vargas’ daughter Kristen, and Zambrano’s sons Alfonso and Andrew. And don’t forget 10-month-old honorary CEO Daylon.

“He’s already been in to supervise, and he does like the custard, he’s a big fan,” Vargas said, laughing.

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Each sister brings a different background to the mix. Vargas has a virtual assistant business. Zambrano is a kindergarten teacher in Blue Island. Gibbons Warren is a physical therapist. Zambrano also has a degree in culinary arts.

They don’t necessarily know much about custard, but they know they like it.

They don’t plan to change much of the menu, except maybe adding some flavors. But they know many longtime customers count on the shop to satisfy their sweet tooth.

“They open the door and they shout out what they want, they know the menu so well,” said Zambrano, 45.

“People will come in and shout out, ‘give me the usual,’ so we’re learning quickly what ‘the usual’ is for them,” Vargas said.

The whole family has a hand in making the business their own. They’re spending whatever time they can at the shop, after their other jobs. There won’t be many changes, but maybe slight ones—like the 2Sisters Frozen Custard sign, changed to reflect the new sisterhood in charge.

“We’re going to make it their own,” Vargas said, “but honor what’s here.”

“It’s a labor of love, we come here after our other jobs. We’re trying to make the changes little by little.”

Vargas said it was probably no surprise to many who know the family, that they’d decided to take this on together.

“That’s how we are as a family,” Vargas said, “We stick together, we help each other out.”

Each has their favorite flavor. For Vargas, it’s mint chocolate chunk. For Gibbons Warren, it’s the White Sox Sundae. Alfonso will have Brian’s Coffee Toffee. Autumn likes anything with peanut butter cup. And Kristen can’t wait for them to a good red velvet topping to mix in, because she knows it will be her favorite.

The biggest challenge they all face?

“Not to eat all of it!” Zambrano said, chuckling.

Hours are currently Wednesday through Friday, 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m. They are cash only, with an ATM inside. Check out their website for a menu and more info!

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