The Java Break’s Cereal Bar

By Michaela Warren

Lawrence, Kan. – How about Reese’s Puffs, Cocoa Puffs and Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch or Rice Krispies and Corn Pops with blueberries, peanuts and raisins, or Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms with mini marshmallows and blueberries?

Mix and match 30 cereals and more than 20 toppings at The Java Break’s Cereal Bar.

Cold cereal is the most popular breakfast option among breakfast eaters, according to the Breakfast Cereals report by David Browne published by Mintel, February 2012. Breakfast eaters aged 18 to 24 have the highest average weekly cold cereal consumption, Mintel 2012.

The Java Break started July 18, 1994 by Derek Hogan. The 24-hour café also offers bake goods, biscuits and gravy and paninis.

“We just have a lot of really weird options,” said Preston Burton, barista at The Java Break.

Story Behind The Cereal Bar

The Cereal Bar got its start in 2008 after the 14-year anniversary of the Java Break.  Burton said Hogan saw a cereal bar before while traveling, and thought it would be a good idea to bring one to Lawrence.

The cereal restaurant or cereal café market started in 2003 with chains such as Cereality and The Cereal Bowl leading the market.

The idea is not necessarily new, but being the only cereal bar in the Midwest is a title the Java Break holds.

The Cereal Bar

The Cereal Bar offers 30 cereals, more than 20 toppings and five kinds of milk to choose from to create a personalized bowl of cereal.

“It’s easy and you can combine any cereal you want,” said Brogan Sievers, a Lawrence resident. “And they’ve got cool containers.”

At the Cereal Bar there are three simple steps to create your bowl.

Step one, pick up to three types of cereal or less.

Step two, choose a topping and each additional topping will cost 50 cents extra.

Step three, choose whole or skim milk, and chocolate or vanilla is available to add to milk at no extra charge. Soymilk is available for 50 cents more.

Costumers can choose from a variety of cereal – Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Grapenuts, Kashi Heart to Heart, Rice Chex, Total, Lucky Charms, Cheerios or Cocoa Puffs – to mix.

The most popular cereal served is Reese’s Puffs. Besides Reese’s Puffs the popularity of cereal is pretty random, Burton said.

“I Like Trix, Kix and usually something else, like Pops or Cap’n,” Sievers said. “It changes a lot.”

Sliced bananas is the most popular topping for cereal mixes followed by Oreo cookie crumbles.

Customers can also choose from other fresh or dried fruit – strawberries or dried apricots -, almonds, peanuts, apple pie filling or caramel syrup.

The busiest days for the Cereal Bar is on the weekends and after bar rushes around 2 a.m.

“The Cereal Bar is really popular,” Burton said. “Even out of state people who come back specifically for the Cereal Bar.”

The Cereal Bar is most popular with college aged students, who spend long nights at the 24/7 coffee shop studying.

“We are very unique and I think that is why people like us,” Burton said. “I think we have a very homey feeling. I think that is why people like to come here to study so much.”

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