By Julie Ann Madden
For more than 40 years, Jose Arreola has been found in a restaurant kitchen, cooking up both Mexican and American cuisine from before sunup to after sundown.
For the past 13 years, he and his family have owned and operated the Akron Jo’s Cafe in downtown Akron.
However, this week the Arreola family made the announcement the family is seeking a buyer for their hometown cafe.
“I hope the community understands,” said Jose.
“For the future I see myself enjoying more life than just work, work and more work,” he said, adding it’s time to let his family decide what they want to do.
He and his wife, Olivia, and their daughters, Betty and Marlenne, not only work together in the restaurant but they operate a catering business, too.
Their son, Andres, has his own career now, and Betty will graduate from college this Spring. Marlenne is just 15 years old.
There is no family willing and ready to fill Jose’s shoes.
“I want to give them the opportunity to do whatever they want,” said Jose, admitting it feels at times like he’s forced his family into the family business.
Betty is hoping to pursue a career in photography and art while Marlenne enjoys dancing, said the proud father.
For himself, Jose wants a job where he can put in a day’s work, then go home and relax — without the constant stress and pressure of owning a restaurant.
“We plan to stay here and have a life,” said Jose, who is 57 years old. “Work (a regular job) and have time for ourselves.”
However, Akron Jo’s Cafe is not closing, said Jose.
Until they find the “right person,” Akron Jo’s Cafe will continue under their ownership.
The cafe is open from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday and Monday.
In addition to daily lunch specials, Jose serves traditional Mexican food on Friday evenings. The menu includes breakfast, lunch and supper items in both American and Mexican fare.