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The Baked Bear To Tackle North County Next

Childhood friends Rob Robbins and Shane Stanger, co-founders of The Baked Bear, are expanding the brand to North County.

Now that The Baked Bear's first location in Pacific Beach proved bikini-clad college kids and tourists crave a cold freeze, it's time to try suburbia on for size.

The two-year-old cookie and custom ice cream sandwich shop just announced plans to open in La Costa and Carmel Valley this year.

The next big target demographic is North County's high schoolers and families, co-founder Rob Robbins tells Eater.

The La Costa shop at 7610 Via Campanile will open first, on February 7. Next up will be the Carmel Valley location at 5950 Village Way in early April.

Despite there "really only being six items on the menu," there are 1,500 combinations to choose from, says Robbins. Options include baked in-house cookies, waffles, brownies and donuts with craft ice cream, and the signature Bear Bowl, which is a warm chocolate chip cookie pie topped with a scoop of ice cream.

The Baked Bear, which also gives Padres fans a sugar rush inside Petco Park, will offer franchising opportunities starting this year.

Robbins met Shane Stanger freshman year at Torrey Pines High School, hence the decision to return to their roots in Carmel Valley. (Robbins shares an eerily similar story with his dad, Barry, who founded Chicago’s Brother Pizza nearly 40 years ago in Pacific Beach with his own childhood cohort.)

Both North County spots sit in new strip mall developments, so layouts are "similar but more refined" than the Pacific Beach sibling, says Robbins. The Carmel Valley location is being timed to debut in line with the new Trader Joe's in The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch.

The La Costa location will seat 24 inside and 12 outside; Carmel Valley will have 32 seats inside and 24 outside. North County hours aren't set in stone yet but will likely be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., depending how late the shopping centers stay open.