Where it All Began

Old-timers in the area may remember the original Fitzer’s Frostie, located on the corner of Route 30 and Cedar Road. Roy Fitzer, a food equipment salesman, opened the original soft-serve ice cream and soft drink location in 1955. The restaurant was beloved by local families and served as a favorite place of summer employment for local high school teachers.

Photo credit: New Lenox Area Historical Society – Rus Hancock

Ranch Frostie

In 1970, Harold Hoyt took ownership of the restaurant. The building was moved to its current location at Francis and Cedar roads, and an upstairs expansion was added to the building.

Mr. Hoyt chose this location because it was close to Dee & Ed’s Grocery Store, where he worked as a butcher and later as a manager. The corner was known locally as Ranch Corner, and the other businesses at the intersection were called Ranch Liquor and Ranch Pharmacy. It seemed fitting to rename the restaurant to Ranch Frostie.

Harold Hoyt loved being a part of the community and was a strong supporter of youth athletics. Ranch Frostie quickly became a favorite hangout for teams and their families, along with neighbors, workers, and visitors from all over. When Harold passed away, his family continued to carry the torch and preserve the Ranch Frostie traditions. Teri and Doug Hoyt faithfully served cold treats and good eats to the New Lenox community in much the same way Harold Hoyt did decades ago. In 2018, they knew it was time to pass the torch to the next generation, she knew the choice had to be made carefully.

Passing the Torch

Jackie Potocki and John Sestak, along with their six children, grew up in the community and have been friends with the Hoyt family almost all their lives. They know what Ranch Frostie means to their friends and neighbors and are committed to continuing the legacy for years to come. The two families did not see the changing of hands as a business transaction, but as a combined effort from both families to keep Ranch Frostie like it was when they were all children themselves.

Jackie and John have no plans to make major changes to the food or ice cream menu. They and their children are continuing the Ranch Frostie tradition of serving tasty treats and supporting their local community. In 2020, Ranch Frostie was named Business of the Year. Jackie, John, and family are working hard to remain the best place in New Lenox to meet up with family and friends and share something special.

Community Support

Ranch Frostie continues to be an involved member of the Lincoln Way Community and strong supporter of youth athletic organizations.