Vital Stats: David Roth, 42, and Rick Bacher, 36, Cereality
Company: quick-serve restaurant; cereal bar and cafe
Growth Projections: a dozen new stores nationwide by the end of fiscal 2005
Cereal Entrepreneurs: Roth enjoyed helping clients through his brand development and marketing firm, but the thought of applying his branding skills to another business fired him up. Seeking a product with strong personal ties, he was intrigued by cereal's lasting hold on consumers. "They were eating it everywhere, at different times of day," says Roth. The idea of a cereal retail experience excited Roth's graphic-designer friend Bacher, who was inspired by the creative challenges and possibilities.
Survey Says: According to both Kellogg's and Quaker, 95 percent of the American public enjoys cereal, and even more enjoy milk. Armed with that information, Roth and Bacher set out to create a way for people to savor cereal away from home.
Initially targeting the college market--"They basically live on cereal," quips Roth--the entrepreneurs knew that acceptance by these cynical consumers meant they could get in with everybody. In fact, the popularity of Cereality's prototype kiosk in Tempe, Arizona, at Arizona State University's food court has been trumped by the December 2004 opening of their full-fledged cereal bar and cafe in Philadelphia.
Breakfast Bonanza: Thirty cereals are scooped by pajama-clad "Cereologists," who add any of 30-plus toppings, including the number-one seller: bananas. Cereal bars, snack mixes, "Slurrealities" (smoothies meet cereal), juice, soft drinks, coffee, steamers and seven different milks round out the menu. Next, the company plans to expand into office buildings, airports, hospitals and train stations.