The Cereal Lab opens in downtown DecaturThe Cereal Lab owners Jason and Cynthia Hernandez celebrate the ribbon cutting of the shop with (from left to right) Decatur Commissioner Kelly Walsh, City Manager Andrea Arnold and City Clerk Meredith Roark on Thursday, Nov. 10. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
This story has been updated.
Decatur, GA — Walking into the Cereal Lab in downtown Decatur, guests are greeted with the smell of waffle cones and a warm welcome. Modeled after a cereal bar, the shop combines cereal and ice cream.
Patrons can enjoy cereal as a topping over ice cream, infused into a milkshake, or just have a bowl of cereal.
Owners Cynthia and Jason Hernandez opened their business on Nov. 5, and celebrated their ribbon cutting on Nov. 10 alongside their employees and a few city of Decatur officials.
“I want it to be as much of an experience as it is a destination,” Cynthia Hernandez said. “We elevate the breakfast experience by turning it into a dessert. We’re taking something everyone knows as a breakfast cereal, and you can now enjoy it as a topping over ice cream, a milkshake all while congregating with your family and friends.”
Hernandez founded The Cereal Lab in 2018 with the goal to unite Atlanta through breakfast. Her mission is to “spark joy and nostalgic memories while bringing friends, family, and communities together to enjoy delicious cereal treats,” The Cereal Lab website states.
She got the idea for her business when traveling abroad in Barcelona, Spain, in 2018. She started doing pop-ups in 2020, in particularly at Pontoon Brewery. She’d test out new recipes and sell them at the brewery.
“We visited a cereal bar in Barcelona, Spain, and they only did bowls of cereal. I always say that travel is my best teacher because I get a lot of great ideas from being abroad. After going to the same cereal bar every day for a week, before I left Barcelona the company name was already found by my son,” Hernandez said.
A year later, she purchased a food truck and The Cereal Lab became more mobile. Another year later, her business is now in a brick-and-mortar building along West Ponce de Leon in between The Great Frame Up and the Huntington Learning Center.
For Hernandez, her shop is an extension of her living room and she aims for customers to feel at home at The Cereal Lab.
“This is an extension of everybody’s living room,” she said. “Not only am I a dessert shop, but I am a place to congregate.”
She also wants customers to know that they won’t be judged or turned away for who they are.
“In my mind, if I feel like I can create an environment or a space that people love to coming to, why not make a business out of it and cereal was fun. I have fun doing it,” Hernandez said. “Everyone is welcome, everyone is family here.”
She plans to eventually host events like poetry nights and live science experiments.
In a laboratory people are putting things together, and guests get to do at The Cereal Lab by making their own creations with ice cream, cereal and sauces. The menu features a few signature items like the “Downtown Decatur,” which has sweet and salty Corn Flakes crunch with chocolate chips, marshmallows and caramel drizzle.
Customers can also create their own ice cream bowl or milkshake by choosing their ice cream flavor, two cereals, two toppings and a drizzle.
“We are the best milkshake in Atlanta,” Hernandez said.
Bowls of cereal and all-you-can-eat cereal are available as well.
Shirley Baylis, business development manager for the city, said it’s exciting to see a new business open in Decatur.
“I don’t feel like we were hit as hard as some places during COVID, but we did lose some businesses, so seeing all these new businesses coming online is really exciting to see,” Baylis said. “The community’s already behind it 100%.”
Commissioner Kelly Walsh was excited about the uniqueness of The Cereal Lab and said it adds to the independent, local feeling of the city.
“We’re always really excited when a new, particularly an innovative business like this comes to town,” Walsh said. “There’s so much creativity and innovation behind what they’re doing, and it’s not really like anything I’ve seen downtown before. I also think it appeals to such a wide audience, and just about anybody can come in and have a new experience and experiment with a dessert.”
The Cereal Lab is located at 335 W. Ponce De Ave., Suite D. The shop is closed on Monday and open Tuesday through Thursday from 12-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12-10 p.m., and Sunday from 12-8 p.m.
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