At Treats, Cereal and Ice Cream Become One

From Froot Loops to Lucky Charms, cereals mix with soft-serve to nostalgic effect in St. Paul
From left: Berry Kiss, Cocoa Party, Crisp N Cream
From left: Berry Kiss, Cocoa Party, Crisp N Cream

Photo by Kevin Kramer

Trisha Seng and Minh Dinh were raised around their parents’ Vietnamese restaurant, but the siblings didn’t discuss working together until they discovered a one-of-a-kind machine that mixes ice cream and cereal. Its rich and complex riff on soft serve was a revelation—a tricked-out nostalgia trip. Or, as Seng puts it, “We stared at each other and said, ‘This is amazing.’”

Treats’ wide-eyed customers are reacting similarly as they capture multi-colored waffle cones against a kaleidoscopic mural by the local Burlesque Public Works Division—featuring the Trix rabbit and Lucky Charms leprechaun.

Each cereal has a distinct texture and taste, so Seng and Dinh spent considerable time developing flavor combinations for the menu. Seng is especially proud of the sweet-and-tart balance of Berry Kiss (Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, Trix, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, topped with gummy bears), but she says customers shouldn’t overlook Treats’ boba drinks. No mere afterthought, they range from a rich blend of roasted black tea to minimalist cups of ceremonial-grade matcha.

“It’s not just about the taste,” explains Seng. “We care about the ambiance as well.” Building upon her experience as co-owner of Minneapolis’ Waffle Bar—another photogenic ice cream parlor—Treats has turned a former salon into a sunny, neon-tinged hotspot along St. Paul’s Grand Avenue.

Everything is made to order, so lines can get long, but the Treats team don’t seem to mind. “Everyone loves being here,” says Seng, “and I love seeing them happy.”

770 Grand Ave., St. Paul

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