Apr 6, 2021, 6:52am CDT
Treats Cereal Bar & Boba
Minh Dinh & Trisha Seng own and operate Treats Cereal Bar & Boba in St. Paul, with plans to expand into Blaine. Two years after Treats Cereal Bar & Boba opened its first location on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, a second one will open in Blaine this spring. The cereal-centric dessert concept is taking over the former Edible Arrangements space at 10340 Baltimore St. NE, with plans to open in early May. The new 1,500-square-foot location will be similar to the first in terms of menu and aesthetic, according to co-owners and siblings Trisha Seng and Minh Dinh. It will maintain the original focus on cereal-infused ice cream and boba drinks, plus coffee and waffles. To make the ice cream, Treats grinds cereal — like Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles and Cookie Crisp — into vanilla ice cream to produce a flavored soft serve that's offered in cups, cones, milkshakes and cereal bowls. The shop's boba menu consists of ceremonial-grade matcha drinks, milk teas and fruit teas. The shop initially offered waffles as a seasonal item over the winter and were so popular that they’ve permanently been added to the all-day menu. The family-owned operation emphasizes partnerships with other local businesses. Treats' sources milk from Forest Lake-based Autumnwood Farm and gets its coffee from Spyhouse Coffee Roasters. Local artist Ashley Mary is painting a 60-foot mural wall in the new space. The owners chose Blaine for their second location because it's an up-and-coming city that's home to the National Sports Center, which is right by the new shop, Dinh said. Treats' loyal customer base in St. Paul gave Seng and Dinh the confidence and courage to expand, especially during this challenging time for restaurants across the country. “Tough times never last, but tough people do,” Seng said. “And so I think that our community and our neighbors and our team really helps with that.” Seng and Dinh never thought they would own a food business after seeing how hard their parents worked in the traditional Vietnamese restaurant that they owned on University Avenue in St. Paul, but over time they've realized it's what makes them happy and brings them together. “Our parents were in the restaurant business when we were growing up and we swore that we’d never do it, but food is in our veins,” Dinh said. “I think we just like being in that environment.” Treats worked with Marshall Nguyen of Caspian Group on the lease for the new location. The original location at 770 Grand Ave. opened in June 2019.