CREAM ARRIVES ...
The latest scoop: a new ice cream shop moving into the former Michael's Gelato at 440 University Ave. in Palo Alto. Michael's closed earlier this year after a nearly eight-year-run.
Taking its place is Cream, a high-energy, family-run business that specializes in ice-cream sandwiches. After a successful start in Berkeley in 2010, Cream is ready to expand into Palo Alto.
"It's a great fit," said Cream spokesman Gus Shamieh, who owns the shop with his father, Jimmy.
"We offer premium products at affordable prices," he said.
The 1,300-square-foot space has been home to ice-cream shops for more than a decade, beginning as Swenson's Ice Cream.
"We don't need a lot of space. We're a well-oiled machine," Shamieh said.
Cream's signature and most popular item, according to Shamieh, is a mint-chocolate-chip ice-cream sandwich surrounded by double chocolate-chip cookies. And it comes in at a mere 700 calories.
"That's 700 calories of happiness," Shamieh said. Look for a late spring/early summer opening.
ADA'S CAFE READY AND WAITING ...
Ada's Cafe is poised to move into the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center "the minute we can," said Kathleen Foley-Hughes, the cafe's executive director.
Located at 3900 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto, the library, which is more than a year behind its original construction schedule, looks like it will finally be completed by late summer, according to Foley-Hughes. Her nonprofit cafe will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and will offer a variety of moderately priced breakfast, lunch and dinner items.
"We feel so honored that we were chosen as the vendor for the library over all the other groups that applied," Foley-Hughes said.
Ada's Cafe is unusual in its mission. In addition to offering fresh food, it provides jobs and training for individuals with developmental disabilities. Foley-Hughes plans to employ 15 to 25 developmentally disabled people for her cafe. She is also planning an internship program for high school and college-age students who will work side-by-side with the employees.
PALO ALTO, THAT TUTORING TOWN ...
This city's newest tutoring center is scheduled to open this month in Charleston Shopping Center, at the corner of Charleston and Middlefield roads in Palo Alto.
Huntington Learning Center, a chain of educational-service centers founded in 1977, is preparing to move in to the newly renovated space that once housed Neighborhood Liquor and Video, between Mountain Mike's Pizza and Pet Food Express. Franchise owner Harpreet Soni, a former high-tech worker who moved here from India 14 years ago, is passionate about education.
"It's time for me to give back. What this country is lacking is a good education. That's what motivated me to open a Huntington here," he said.
Soni also sees a lot of competition in this city.
"In Palo Alto, the parents are competitive and that makes the kids competitive, more so here than in other communities," he said.
Huntington joins a bevy of other tutoring centers in Palo Alto, including Admissions Academy, Score, Ivy and Think Tank Learning. Huntington will offer academic skills and exam preparation for kindergarteners through high schoolers.
"I already have my first students -- my two daughters," Soni said.