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Cereality breakfast café serves up a healthy portion of creativity

Sometimes Sodexho just doesn’t cut it when a hankerin’ for some cereal comes along; and even if it could, the dining commons is only open until 7 p.m. The answer to those late night cravings lies in a new addition to the University of Pennsylvania campus.

This budding business endeavor began with founders David Roth and Rick Bacher’s desire to create something innovative and unique. Employees are dressed in pajamas, couches are set up in front of flat screen TVs featuring cartoons, and the only item on the menu is cereal.

The cereal craze began less than two years ago with a 200-square-foot kiosk on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. The success of the kiosk led to the Cereality Cereal Bar & Café, which opened its doors to the city of Philadelphia on December 1, 2004.

The 30 varieties of brand-name cold cereal are displayed behind glass kitchen cabinets that quite intentionally resemble Jerry’s kitchen on the sitcom Seinfeld.

After perusing the selection of over 30 types of cereal and 36 different toppings, customers give their orders to “cereologists” and walk away with cereal bowls that look like Chinese takeout containers. Sixteen ounces of cereal with one topping, plus regular, flavored or soy milk costs $2.95. Also offered are cereal bars, yogurt blends, and made-to-order cereal smoothies.

This “why didn’t I think of that?” idea really took off and became popular almost overnight. The popularity of Cereality has even become so high that each store goes through 80 pounds of bananas each week, according to Lisa Kovitz, who works for Cereality’s public relations firm.

The café has even been highlighted in such periodicals as People Magazine, Time Magazine and USA Today.

After achieving such great success, Roth and Bacher are looking forward to opening many more Cereality Bar and Cafés on more college campuses, in hospital lobbies, airports and a few choice office buildings.

“We’re not just aiming at college campuses,” Kovitz said. “Our third store will open in Chicago near the Merchantile Exchange, which is in the city’s financial district…all office workers.”

According to the Cereality web page, approximately 95 percent of Americans eat cereal. This being the case, Cereality Bar and Café is a great way to ensure that nobody is skipping the most important meal of the day, even if it is at 11 p.m.

Hours of operation:Mon.-Wed. 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.Thurs.-Fri. 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.Sat.-7 a.m.-11 p.m.Sun.-8 a.m.-5 p.m.

University of Pennsylvania campus; 3631 Walnut St., Philadelphia

www.cereality.com

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