It has taken five years, but the owner of Josh & John's has found the "perfect" location for his next ice cream store.

Owner John Krakauer, 51, hopes to open his second shop inside a former Mountain Shadows Starbucks space no later than Feb 14. He said the open ceiling, large windows and "gorgeous outdoor seating area" at 6896 Centennial Blvd. was what he had been searching for over the past half decade.

He also liked that the building is in an area surrounded by neighborhoods with a lot of children - and few other ice cream shops.

"There is not a lot of competition there, not just with ice cream but with things to do with kids," Krakauer said.

Josh & John's is the creation of Krakauer and fellow Boston native Josh Paris, who met when they were 15-year-old students at a Boston-area high school. Paris went to Middlebury College in Vermont, while Krakauer came to the Springs to attend Colorado College. He got the idea for his ice cream store in his junior year.

"And I called Josh with the idea, and he was interested," said Krakauer, who also teaches math at Palmer High School; a job he's had for 16 years.

He and Paris opened their first Josh & John's in the Giddings building off Kiowa Street in 1986. Krakauer became sole owner in 1990 when Paris sold his shares in the business and returned to Boston. In 1996, Krakauer moved his ice cream shop to its current location at 111 E. Pikes Peak Ave, next door to Kimball's Peak Three Theater.

The move to Mountain Shadows isn't the first time Josh & John's has tried to take its craft ice creams beyond downtown Colorado Springs. The two men had an ice cream store in Boulder, but it closed in 2000. There was also a store at the corner of North Academy and Union boulevards; that store closed two years ago, Krakauer said.

Both stores were performing well, he said. However, they were franchises, and each owner decided to close shop when the leases expired, no longer wanting to sell ice cream, he said.

Krakauer has already hired 10 people for his future Mountain Shadows store, most from the surrounding community. He said he could add another five to 10 employees this summer. The new store will continue to use an old fashioned-styled rock salt and ice churn to create all of Josh & John's flavors, said Krakauer's wife, Lindsay Keller.

She said a main reason for the success of the couple's downtown Colorado Springs store is because her husband understands people don't just come for ice cream but to celebrate life.

"They come for a first date, or to bring their soccer or other youth teams for end-of-season celebrations," she said. "It is not just a joint for them to get ice cream, they come for an experience."


Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275