Samantha Weigel/Daily Journal
Franchise owner Fadi Shamieh serves a freshly made ice cream sandwich to customers at his new CREAM location on South B Street in San Mateo.
There’s a new family shop in San Mateo sharing recipes that will satisfy any sweet tooth with unique ice cream flavors sandwiched between warm homemade cookies.
CREAM opened its sixth chain downtown over the weekend and franchise owner Fadi Shamieh said he’s ready to wow patrons with the delicious ice cream sandwiches he and his family grew up eating. Shamieh’s aunt and uncle started CREAM in 2010 in Berkeley and the family has gone on to launch shops in Palo Alto, Davis, Walnut Creek, San Jose and now at 134 S. B St. in San Mateo.
“Everybody likes cookies, everybody likes ice cream, so let’s put the two together and make a perfect marriage,” Shamieh said. “People love it. They love the product, they love the concept … they love the fact that they can mix and match their cookies. There’s over 1,000 different combinations you can get.”
Visitors can devour original proprietary blends like cinnamon chill, cup of joe, royal caramel swirl, strawberry cheesecake and salted caramel ice cream sandwiched between freshly baked warm oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, snickerdoodle, cappuccino, macadamia nut or butter sugar cookies.
CREAM also offers soy ice cream, vegan and gluten-free cookies, milkshakes, floats, malts, brownies and even ice cream tacos on Tuesdays.
CREAM has amassed a huge following in just the few short years since its inception and last weekend’s opening was attended by thousands, Shamieh said.
Customers Savannah Young and Caitlyn Balich used to have to travel to Palo Alto to indulge in CREAM but now they don’t have to leave their San Mateo hometown to smell freshly-baked cookies. Young says she loves how many options CREAM has to offer and it’s unlike any other ice cream shop.
“They have vegan and gluten [free] options for people which is kind of cool,” Young said. “The cookies are actually made [here] and they have lots of different options.”
CREAM is known for producing long lines and it can be a deterrent, but most of the time Young and Balich think it’s worth the wait.
“It’s so good. I mean I made the effort to go there, so I might was well wait in line,” Balich said. “It’s pretty reasonably priced too.”
Sandwiches start at $2.99, Shamieh said. Patrons who crave their dessert delicacies produce lines that can extend down the block, but CREAM keeps customers entertained while they wait, Shamieh said.
“We provide a great atmosphere. When you’re in the store the employees are playing music and singing along, making it worth it to wait in those lines,” Shamieh said.
The Shamieh family’s nostalgic love of ice cream sandwiches and CREAM brings a new twist to ice cream parlors. Although many of its consumers are kids, CREAM also attracts an older crowd.
Ice cream and cookies are nostalgic for his family and were a centerpiece of any festivity.
Ice cream and cookies always accompanied family occasions and the store’s creation brings nostalgic memories, Shamieh said. Although many of its customers are kids and teens, CREAM attracts an older crowd too. It puts a spin on the traditional ice cream parlor and encourages those with a childhood favorite to mix it in combinations they wouldn’t have imagined, Shamieh said.
Some crowd favorite ice cream flavors are vanilla, chocolate and salted caramel and a freshly baked double chocolate chip cookie is never a bust. But he covets his own concoction, Shamieh said.
“I mix snickerdoodle and chocolate chip cookies and strawberry ice cream. It’s kind of a funky fusion, but that’s what does it for me,” Shamieh said.
The Bay Area family also has a few superstar inspired combinations by the radio legend Chuy Gomez and Raiders running back Marcel Reese, Shamieh said.
Councilman Joe Goethals and U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, also attended the San Mateo grand opening and March 1 was proclaimed CREAM day, Shamieh said.
He lives in San Mateo and downtown is the perfect location to house its new franchise, Shamieh said.
“Downtown San Mateo is up and coming, it’s not what it used to be. Downtown San Mateo is now the restaurant hub of the Peninsula,” Shamieh said.
CREAM San Mateo is just up the block from the theater and convenient for an after-dinner or a movie dessert. It’s open late; from Monday through Thursday from noon to midnight, Friday and Saturday from noon until 1 a.m. and Sundays from noon until 11 a.m., Shamieh said.
“Late because there’s a couple bars and clubs and a little bit of a night life. We try to catch the moviegoers, the late ones. It’s not super busy that late, but we try to accommodate who ever is out and about. And try to stay open as late as we can and try to serve as many people as we can,” Shamieh said. “We want to take what we love and share it with everyone else.”
For more information, store locations and hours visit www.creamnation.com.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106