Before I began writing On Deadline*, several of my bosses told me what they expected out of the blog. The posts were not to be about what I had for breakfast, they said. Cereal was mentioned a couple times. Being a co-creator of the blog’s concept, I knew as much. But I understood where they were coming from. Aside from a half-dozen stories at CNN, my only writing of length in preceding years had come in this blog. And this blog was no stranger to cereal.
My brother understands this history, and that’s why when he reads about a new cereal restaurant beginning to franchise across the country, he promptly sends me the story. Amid the revamping of Cereality’s business model and the reported failure of the company’s Evanston branch, I’m a bit disillusioned with the entire cereal restaurant industry. The nexus of my pain? The ground floor of the condo down the street has been empty for probably a year now. There’s a “retail parking” garage, but inside is only a expensive spa. My dreams of a neighboring Cereality and Krispy Kreme have long died.
With this other cereal chain’s expansion, the article tells of 16 stores — I like to think of them as restaurants, to think otherwise cheapens the cereal experience — under development. “Looks like Cereality is going to get a run for its money,” my brother says. But the story doesn’t name the locations, and I’m a little distrustful. Until I see my city’s name on paper and next to cereal, I can’t raise my spoon.
In other news, I have a new great idea. Chocolate-covered Cheerios. The taste of my Christmas and Easter mornings! A soft pitch at Sunday night’s festivities has no doubt left the gathered Leongs and Strahotas dreaming of endless bowls. How this idea took 27 years to strike, I have no idea.
*On Deadline turned out fine. I think I only wrote about cereal twice: “Drink your Trix, Cocoa puffs” and “Be like Mike? Be liking milk.” Ha.
In Friday’s Daily Northwestern:
“The store, which he said will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., will include the Cereality Sprinter, a van that drives around to different neighborhoods delivering their unique cereal mixes such as Burst o’ Berry and A-Maize-Ing Grains, which are served in Chinese food containers.
Not only is Cereality about to open in Evanston, but apparently the branch is also going to deliver. CEREAL DELIVERY. If I still lived in The Dining Capital of the North Shore, my wallet would not be as generous to Philly’s Best and Papa John’s. My wallet would now have breakfast to consider. I would have a chance to become to Evanston cereal what Romenesko has become to Evanston coffee.
I’d already planned to post this development when Cereality’s PR chief e-mailed me today. Her message? The branch is hiring. I’m not sure how my career would have gone if cereal had competed with The Daily for me. If you’re someone who’s willing to smuggle Cheerios into the dining halls….
From the company’s website, it looks like the next opening is in State College. Elsewhere in the industry, The Cereal Bowl wants to go national, but it, Cereality and others are still hashing out legal space. I continue to hold out hope for any cereal restaurant to make it to the nation’s capital. Or maybe just over the river. And down the street from me.
Two men are creating a whole “bar & cafe” based around the concept that people want to eat cereal all day long. Who are these men? Geniuses!
Jerry Shiver of USA Today writes about their dream: “Each Cereality would offer about 30 hot or cold cereals; 34 toppings; seven types of flavored and unflavored milk; cereal-and-yogurt-based smoothies (Slurrealities); and fresh-baked breakfast bars.”
Learn more about Cereality and tour their prototype cafe here.