$18 and Under: Baked Bear Hits The Sweet Spot For A Summer Treat

Anna Stewart, News Managing Editor

Parents, kids and high school students lined up May 19 for the grand opening of The Baked Bear – the build-your-own ice cream sandwich shop located off of Rockville Pike in the Pike and Rose shopping center.

Guests get to choose from a base of two freshly-baked cookies, brownies, or donuts (or a combination of any two) and fill it with the ice cream of their choice. Over a dozen cookie and ice cream flavors are offered, including “Bear Batter”- their signature ice cream- a blue cake batter flavor with brownie bits and fudge.

The customers can then choose to have their sandwich pressed in a machine similar to a waffle iron, making the cookies or brownies just warm enough to soften them, but not enough to melt the ice cream. They can also be rolled through a variety of toppings before they’re served, including sprinkles, hot fudge and Oreo crumbs. While the additional toppings may sound delicious, each one comes at the price of 50 cents extra.

“I got two cookies – one snickerdoodle and one chocolate chip – with cookie dough ice cream and brownie bits. It’s so big I almost couldn’t finish it, but it was only $6, so it’s a pretty good deal,” junior Barrie Pasternak said. “The only thing that gets you, though, is the toppings…so I stuck to just one.”

The Baked Bear was originally opened in California by two childhood friends, Rob Robbins and Shane Stanger, who left their careers to pursue their true passion: serving up monstrous ice cream sandwiches to their hometown of San Diego. After winning the hearts of locals, they opened more locations along the west coast, and are now beginning to spread into the east.

Before the grand opening of the store in Rockville, The Baked Bear announced on their Facebook page that they would be offering free ice cream sandwiches to the first 300 people. The first 15 in line would get a free Baked Bear t-shirt and the first 100 would be entered in a raffle to win 50 free sandwiches for a party or event.

Despite the rain, 30 minutes after opening there were nearly 400 people waiting for ice cream, the line extended around multiple street corners. Even at 7 p.m., six hours after opening, guests still had to wait in-line for at least 20 minutes.

“I went on Tuesday after school with my girlfriend and the line was still really long. It was so worth the wait though. My sandwich was so good,” senior Anthony McClean said.

Not everyone was as impressed, however, as some customers were unsure which options to choose.

“I was kinda disappointed, not gonna lie,” freshman Jordan Ibrahimi said. “They told me that the ice cream was already really soft and if they pressed it, it would get really messy. So, I didn’t get mine pressed. That was a mistake…my cookie was like a rock, I had to stab it to eat it.”
The reviews are mixed, but The Baked Bear is new and offers a different take on a classic dessert.