In Chicago, there’s a spot called Munchiez that is bringing the sweetness for Valentine’s Day. Munchiez is a new Black-owned novelty candy store and cereal bar in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. Munchiez is owned and operated by entrepreneur Qiana Allen, 40.
Because of Allen’s business savvy and hard work, Munchiez opened this past August in the middle of the pandemic and has found great success.
“The biggest challenge we’ve faced is learning how to pivot during this pandemic,” said Allen, who started the business with her kids.
“I’ve owned and operated several businesses prior to opening Munchiez but I’d have to say my proudest moment as an entrepreneur has been starting this business journey with my kids. I’ve always wanted to teach them entrepreneurship and we’ve found a way to do just that through things they love which are cereal and candy.”
The sweet spot serves up candy by the pound, one-of-a-kind milkshakes, and every cereal combination you can imagine. Plus, you can’t forget the brightly colored flavored milk! Their motto is “A Place Where Childhood Lasts Forever,” and it’s true. No matter your age, you will truly feel like a kid in a candy store.
If you’ve ever dreamed of opening two boxes of cereal to mix Frosted Flakes and Cap’n Crunch, or wondered what pop rocks in a milkshake taste like, then this is your place. Not much of a sweet tooth? They have savory snacks, too. Check out their walking tacos, nacho fries, mozzarella sticks, and more.
Meanwhile, they’re crafting even more sweet creations for Valentine’s Day. Toss out that box of chocolates and show Bae you really care with a sweet treat as unique as your love.
The “Be Mine” milkshake made with strawberry ice cream, Hershey’s Kisses cereal, and real Hershey’s Kisses candy is available now. Don’t forget to ask for two straws, because there is nothing cuter than sharing a milkshake with your valentine.
A True Hidden Gem
Since Munchiez is located near the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line stop on the south side of Chicago, it isn’t a tourist trap. It’s a place where families living in the predominately Black south side neighborhoods can go together for a good time and even better treats, and it will inspire more people to explore a part of the city they usually wouldn’t.
When asked what advice she’d give young Black entrepreneurs, Allen said, “If you’re passionate about your business never give up no matter what challenges you face. The reward is much greater when you can overcome obstacles that come your way. It’ll make you stronger as an entrepreneur and prepare you for the future of your growing business.”
Munchiez at Home
If the Chicago winter is making it feel near impossible to go outside, you can also order in. That’s right, order your favorite milkshakes and snacks for delivery on UberEats. No matter how you get it, you won’t regret satisfying your sweet tooth at Munchiez.
The Best is Yet to Come
Munchiez has some exciting plans for the new year!
Soon, they will be launching “Munchiez After,” a late night event where adult customers will be able to bring their own alcohol and enjoy the cereal bar. Allen said they also plan to bring back Munchiez birthday parties and more once public health restrictions are lifted.
“We look forward to when things are back to normal so that we can introduce more of the original ideas we had prior to the COVID crisis and we can show Chicago how dope Munchiez really is.”
Zoë is a writer and comedian from Minnesota. She is currently living in Chicago where she likes to read, watch TV, and bake in her free time. She hopes to use her passion for writing and journalism to help educate people and build a better and more equitable world.