Cartoons, coffee and Cap’n Crunch find a home in Arvada

michael emmerson - lori hofer

Michael Emmerson and Lori Hofer will open The Cereal Box Inc. this fall. (Kailyn Lamb)

A little snap, crackle and pop is coming to a storefront in Arvada.

Husband-and-wife Michael Emmerson and Lori Hofer are developing a restaurant that sells just cereal. Cartoons will play on TVs in the background.

The pair leased the spot next to the Arvada Tavern at 5709 Olde Wadsworth Blvd. in June.

Emmerson said that he still enjoys eating cereal and watching cartoons with his three children.

“I’m in my 40s and I still like different cartoons like He-Man, Lori likes Care Bears and My Little Pony. That’s something that doesn’t go away from you from our generation,” Emmerson said. “You never lose that kid in you.”

Emmerson’s favorite is a bowl of Sugar Puffs from his home in England.

In addition to American-brand cereals, Hofer said it also will serve international ones to pull in customers looking for a piece of home outside the U.S.

“That same fun draw that older generations here in America think about – the cereal of their childhoods, and the fun and cartoons and all that good stuff – that same nostalgic pull happens internationally as well,” she said.

The pair picked their hometown, Arvada, for the first location, but said Olde Town was ideal because not as many businesses were geared towards families with children.

“A lot of high-school kids just walking around with nowhere to go,” Emmerson said. “There’s plenty of bars, there’s plenty of restaurants, but it’s not fun for them to go.”

cereal box rendering

Rendering of the upcoming restaurant’s interior. (Cereal Box)

The pair also is filling a void for businesses offering cereal bars. Local food truck R U Cereal offers a menu of pre-mixed candies and cereal. Ice cream shop Red Trolley also offered a cereal bar for a brief time before closing.

Emmerson said customers can choose different-sized bowls and start with a cereal base, then add a variety of toppings. Cereal Box will have different milk flavors and options for people who can’t eat dairy. The menu also will feature milkshakes and coffee.

The couple has not nailed down prices yet, but said cereal and milk likely will cost $3 to $5. International cereals will cost a little more. The restaurant will be open daily.

The pair launched a line of t-shirts, hats and stickers for a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, but will continue to sell the items once it ends Aug. 14. Forty-one backers have pledged $2,138 of a $35,000 goal. But Cereal Box will open whether or not the campaign is successful, Hofer said.

The building in Olde Town was built in 1920 and was previously a yoga studio. Emmerson and Hofer brought in Shike Design to lay out the interior. They are finalizing designs to send in to the city for permits, and hope for a fall opening. The pair is funding the buildout themselves, but did not have a cost estimate.

Both Emmerson and Hofer worked in advertising before deciding to open a family business. While Emmerson focused on the creative side, Hofer worked more on business operations and finances.

“I love the idea of building something for ourselves as a family,” Hofer said. “I’m an operations geek at heart, so I absolutely love the idea: This is a new business and a puzzle to put together.”

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