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A for Anderson, B for Business, C for Colonial Cafe

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 9:38 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Al Lagattolla – alagattolla@shawmedia.com)
Members of the Anderson family operate several businesses in the same building at 333 N. Randall Road in St. Charles. Among them are Blake and Sonia Murray (from left), of CrossFit 333; Kimmie and Clinton Anderson, and Tom and Cris Anderson of Colonial Cafe and Ice Cream; and Suzana and Eric Chock of Prestige Imports.

Colonial Cafe has seen four generations of Andersons run one of the oldest family-owned restaurants in the Tri-City area. And while the restaurant’s slogan is “Scoopin’ Fun Since 1901,” ice cream creations have not been the only thing the Anderson family has been involved with.

The building complex located at 333 N. Randall Road in St. Charles is home to three separate Anderson family businesses: the Colonial Cafe headquarters, CrossFit 333 and Prestige Imports.

Former Colonial Cafe President Tom Anderson and his wife, Cris, raised three children: Suzana, Clinton and Sonia. All three children grew up in St. Charles and attended Utah State University.

While each had separate plans and ambitions, the siblings have since moved back to the Fox Valley to grow their businesses.

Tom Anderson said while it was not easy to hand over control to his son, he was ultimately proud that Clinton Anderson, the current president of Colonial Cafe, had both the ambition and aptitude.

Tom Anderson reminisced about his son starting his Colonial career and said Clinton Anderson started out by emptying waste baskets around the office when he was younger.

The third generation former president is now the director of “Scoopin’ Fun” and is responsible for the ice cream menu and creating new items, according to Clinton Anderson.

Tom Anderson said he has learned to bite his tongue and step back, and the company is doing well. Colonial Cafe has seven locations, according to its website.

Clinton Anderson said he always planned to return to Colonial Cafe after working in the food industry.

“ ‘What would I do if I wasn’t at Colonial Cafe?’... I’m not sure,” Clinton Anderson said. “I’m a lifer.”

He named his positive father-son and business relationship with his dad as the most rewarding part about working at Colonial Cafe.

Clinton Anderson and his wife, Kimmie, married less than a year ago, and he said he looks forward to building experiences with the next generation of Andersons at Colonial Cafe.

Sonia Murray, co-owner of CrossFit 333, with her husband, Blake, said she worked for Colonial Cafe as a server in high school, but said she is better suited to be a gym owner.

CrossFit is a group fitness strength and conditioning program, said Murray. She said their one-hour classes generally have a diverse range of ages and have coaches present to ensure participants use correct form to execute each exercise.

Murray said CrossFit focuses on improving quality of life no matter how fit or old members are. She said she loves seeing people’s attitudes change after working out.

“People come in and they have this face on from the world ... and they leave happy,” Murray said.

Murray said she has high hopes for the gym and hopes to expand into unused areas of the building in St. Charles.

One member in Sonia and Blake Murray’s class is Suzana Chock, daughter of Tom Anderson.

Chock and her husband, Eric, jointly own Prestige Imports.

Prestige Imports differentiates itself from other used cars dealers because of its laid back approach to selling cars, Eric Chock said. He said he does not have a car sale background and that his shop has a low-pressure atmosphere for customers.

Eric Chock said he always prided himself on getting good deals when he was a kid, particularly on basketball shoes.

He bought a used Porsche 14 years ago and befriended the car dealer and began to learn the business.

The Batavia native said he was blessed to be part of the Anderson family and said Tom Anderson was a great mentor to him when he first opened Prestige Imports in 2005. The Andersons are always bouncing ideas off each other and helping each other’s businesses, Eric Chock said.

Eric Chock glanced quickly at his computer on July 15, checking the security cameras and pointing out a balcony in his service garage, which connects Prestige Imports and the Colonial Cafe offices. He noted that every once in a while somebody will take a peek at how his business is doing.

“Everybody is out to try and help each other in what they do,” Eric Chock said.

It is “very special to have everybody back in St. Charles,” Tom Anderson said.

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