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Feed the Cheeks celebrates second location’s grand opening

Students, residents line up for taste of large cookies near Thayer

The store is considering adding some late-night hours in the future, similar to Insomnia Cookies, according to owner Mahran Izoli.
The store is considering adding some late-night hours in the future, similar to Insomnia Cookies, according to owner Mahran Izoli.

Jason Magnell and his daughter Eva lined up at 8:30 a.m. outside cookie vendor Feed the Cheeks’s brand new location at 190 Angell St. Saturday morning. By 9:45 a.m., light rain coming down, the line stretched toward Thayer Street, with patrons eagerly awaiting the 10 a.m. grand opening.

The Magnells purchased one of each kind of cookie Feed the Cheeks offers — from classic chocolate chip to funfetti.

Feed the Cheeks is owned by Mahran Izoli and Shahida Roslan, who opened their first location in Wayland Square. According to Izoli, the pair chose to open a new store by Thayer Street because they wanted a busier spot with more foot traffic.

Lincoln, R.I. resident Jason Magnell said he and his family have bought cookies at the store’s first location, and are excited about the new Thayer Street option. 

“We eat (on Thayer) every two weeks,” Jason Magnell noted. 

“I think this is going to be a very good feature because Thayer has great food already,” Eva Magnell added.

Cassandra Pagnotta lives on Ives Street near the Wayland Square location. “There (are) more options here,” Pagnotta said. “So that’s exciting.” 

While the Wayland Square store only sells cookies and milk, the Thayer menu includes soft-serve ice cream and coffee as well. “I’m hoping a lot of kids will come here to get their morning coffee and maybe a quick treat before class,” Izoli said. 

Although the shop was originally slated to open in September, the construction process took longer than anticipated. “In hindsight, I probably would have hired a general contractor to do all the work,” Izoli said. “I wanted to gain the experience, so I actually went and got my license, and I designed the whole place myself.” Between construction and delays with subcontractors, the owners had to push the soft opening of the new store back to late November. 

The small shop is decked out in pink and pastels, with rose gold seating, pink tile backsplash and blush-colored light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. One wall dons a neon sign which reads “Let’s Get Cheeky!” with a pink rotary phone just below. 

The store on Angell Street is larger than the Wayland Square location, with a bigger kitchen in the back, Izoli said. 

“I just want people to know we’re here and we’re open,” Izoli said. To advertise the event, Izoli said they distributed free “Baby Cheeks” cookie vouchers on the Main Green to spread the word. 

According to the store’s Instagram, the first 10 customers received a free cookie and either a free coffee or “THICC flurry.” The first 50 received a free cookie.

Mina Kao ’23 lives across the street from the new store location and said she was excited about the store’s opening. “The sign’s been up for so long,” she said. “We’ve just been like, ‘When is it going to open?’ ”

Kao added that she anticipates returning to the location. “I think it’s a convenient place,” she said. “I can come here to study if I feel like it.”

The latest the store closes for the time being is 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, but the owners are considering adding some late-night hours in the future, similar to Insomnia Cookies, according to Izoli. 

Izoli said he is excited to serve the Brown and Rhode Island School of Design communities, as well as local high schools.

“I was born and raised in Rhode Island and I’ve been coming to Thayer Street since I was a little kid,” Izoli said. “It’s always kind of been a dream of mine to have some sort of cafe (there).”

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