Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Cookies meet cream at new dessert shop


While working in film production and talent management in Los Angeles, Shane Stanger decided that he needed a career change.

Stanger and his childhood friend, Rob Robbins, left their jobs to follow a new career path of creating dessert treats.

In the next couple of months, Stanger and Robbins will be bringing The Baked Bear to Tuscaloosa. The Baked Bear is a San Diego-based franchise with locations in various states like California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, Maryland, Texas and South Carolina. Much like the Texas-based chain Whataburger did before its February opening, The Baked Bear is dangling an official opening date, but the custom ice cream sandwich shop is set to open in Tuscaloosa in the next few months. 

“It all started with a local friend and developer introducing us to the project,” said Stanger, co-founder and marketing and operations director of the Baked Bear. “We also already had some partners out there, so it was a perfect fit.”

When prepping their first store, Stanger and Robbins came up with the title based on two factors.

“’Baked’ is for the freshly baked, homemade cookies, and ‘bear’ is for our polar bear mascot that represents the cold ice cream,” Stanger said.

While the physical location, which will be located in Midtown, has yet to open its doors, The Baked Bear [Tuscaloosa] Facebook page already has more than 5,000 likes. 

“Our emphasis is on quality above everything,” Stanger said. “We serve a high-end product that’s always freshly baked and with the best ingredients around.”

To create their edible masterpieces, The Baked Bear uses natural ingredients like pure cane sugar and cream. Additionally, their ice cream includes natural flavors like real vanilla, cocoa, coffee, caramel and peppermint.

The Baked Bear’s specialty is creating one-of-a kind ice cream sandwiches held together by cookies, brownies or donuts while implementing an array of toppings and layers. Cookie choices range from snickerdoodle and funfetti cake to oatmeal and cinnamon. Additionally, The Baked Bear offers 13 different ice cream flavors like salted caramel, mint chocolate chip and vanilla.

“I’ve had The Baked Bear once before in their San Francisco, California location,” said Gretchen Lee, a junior majoring in marketing. “What sets them apart is that they serve ice cream sandwiches beyond the regular vanilla or chocolate kind.”

An example of one of the many ice cream sandwiches The Baked Bear offers is a brownie and chocolate chip cookie sandwich with salted caramel fudge ice cream in the middle. However, The Baked Bear doesn’t stop at cookies: they also serve other dessert treats like root beer floats and hot fudge sundaes.

“My favorite ice cream sandwich is one brownie, one red velvet cookie, with salted caramel fudge ice cream and heath bar topping,” Stanger said.

The Baked Bear does not have an official opening date in Tuscaloosa yet, but it’s projected to arrive at Midtown Village by the end of April or early May. Additionally, The Baked Bear is looking to hire managers, assistant managers, bakers and team members before their opening. 

The Baked Bear’s Facebook page will have updates on a final opening date, new desserts and much more. 

“I’ve been following The Baked Bear’s Facebook page for quite some time looking at all the ice cream sandwiches they have to offer,” said Gigi Kingsmill, a sophomore majoring in metallurgical engineering. “I’ll be one of their first customers when they open.”

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