Sharing a building with an antique shop and a used bookstore in South Pasadena, Mix n’ Munch stands out as a quirky alternative to restaurants in the area, serving classic comfort foods such as cereal and grilled cheese.
Their menu features a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches with options specific to breakfast and lunch as well as a selection of store brand cereal. Sandwich recipes have been created by employees and also come from contests held on their Facebook page.
For customers who want to stray from the basics, Mix n’ Munch also makes breakfast tacos, using mozzarella, pepper jack cheese, tater tots, bacon, and fried egg.
One of their most frequently ordered items is the “Breakfast Sammy Sandwich,” a grilled cheese for the morning that tastes like nostalgia, consisting of cheddar, bacon, scrambled eggs, and tater tots on shepherds bread.
Since parents and students are able to walk there in convenience being that it’s in a residential area, Mix n’ Munch is especially popular among families and high schoolers.
The store is heavily involved with the community, displaying artwork from a local art studio for children.
“We do a lot of fundraising for the high schools around here. We also make sack lunches for the preschools to help out the parents a couples times a week,” said Vanessa Valkenberg, one of the managers.
The shop opened in 2010 as the first grilled cheese and cereal based restaurant in existence. Sisters Kimberly Lee and Heather Apraku collaborated in creating the shop. Since she was little, Lee had dreamed of opening a shop dedicated to cereal.
After researching the practicality of her idea when she was working on her Master’s thesis at USC, she realized stores that only sell cereal tend to close soon after opening. Apraku suggested they also make grilled cheese, a childhood favorite of her own. Combing their ideas, they created “Mix n’ Munch.”
“In college I had always thought of opening up a cereal restaurant, as kind of a joke, kind of serious because I loved cereal. I ate cereal all day long,” said Lee.
The café is affiliated with Groundwork Coffee and brews one of their organic roasts, catering to those on their way to work.
“I love coffee so much. It was important to find a good coffee place,” said Lee. “A lot of parents come in along with their kids and some college kids come here to study, so I wanted a good coffee, and Groundwork was able to supply us.”
They also provide wi-fi and outlets for people who need to get work done while enjoying something to munch on.
Located off the South Pasadena Gold Line on 1005 Mission Street, Mix n’ Munch makes for a fun dining experience.