We All Scream for CREAM!
It is hard not to notice a line of people wrapping around the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Channing Way. Inside CREAM — painted in soothing hues of blue that match the sky when it’s not foggy — a large silver sign on the wall holds many cookie options. Since the store opened in 2010, the business model, which combines high-quality ingredients with low prices, a fun atmosphere and a good attitude, has been a success, judging by this ever-present line of eager customers.
CREAM is short for “Cookies Rule Everything Around Me.” The shop not only specializes in dirt-cheap ice cream cookie sandwiches, but is open until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends — a draw for both sweets-craving college students and locals. Employees place a huge scoop of Double Rainbow ice cream on two fresh-baked cookies of your choice, for $2 a pop.
Owner Jimmy Shamieh didn’t always plan on opening a cookie business. He moved to San Francisco from Palestine as a child. During the recent rough economy, he sat around a table with his family, trying to think of a way to make ends meet. His wife, Wafa, often baked fresh cookies when his children were small. “They would put different things in between the cookies and eat them: Hershey bars, marshmallows, peanut butter; sometimes it was ice cream,” he says. The family considered opening a cookie shop. “To be honest, for lack of other options, we opted to give it a try.”
Wafa Shamieh’s homemade cookies, including chocolate chip and Snickerdoodle, are baked on site. Ice cream flavors include soy ice cream, mint chocolate chip and cinnamon caramel. The atmosphere is upbeat: dance music plays overhead; employees smile; surfaces are sparkling clean.
CREAM, 2399 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, (510) 649-1000, www.creamnation.com