Cream + Sugar Coffeehouse in Evanston

Summer is winding down and the temperatures are getting cooler. Now is the time to enjoy the wonders of Fall, like taking a walk through the colorful leaves and spending time at your favorite coffeehouse.

Photo: Cream + Sugar

Cream + Sugar is a local Coffeehouse located in the Evanston community. When you set foot inside, you are greeted with a calmness displayed by a turquoise background, and beautiful artwork that was thoughtfully chosen to compliment the overall aesthetics. Some of my favorite things to order are the caramel latte, maple peanut butter banana brunch toast, and the Southwest pita.

I love this place so much that I decided to find out more about what inspired the owners, Taren Plesinger-Kinebrew and Crystal Guyton-Grace, to open Cream + Sugar. Here’s what Taren had to say about opening a coffeehouse in Evanston.

Q. How long have you been in business?

A. We have been in business since June 2020.

Q. Tell us about your backgrounds and what got you inspired to start Cream and Sugar.

A. Crystal and I have a passion for healthy food options and enjoy coffee. It was our passion project to merge the love of food and coffee by opening a coffee shop. Crystal owns Grace + Grit Spa located in Silverton and believes in self care. I own Sweet Petit Desserts, which is an online store since COVID. All orders can placed online and picked up at Cream + Sugar Coffeehouse. We both are Army Veterans and have known one another since high school.

Photo: Cream + Sugar owners, Taren and Crystal

Q. What type of experience do you want your customers to have?

A. The experience when you walk into our coffeehouse is of community. We offer a great vibe from the art throughout, to the music playing, to the plant-based menu we offer, and our wonderful customer service. When you visit with us, it really is an inviting space.

Q. What’s your vision for what type of role you want the business to play in the community?

A. Crystal and I wanted to be pillars in the community by representing two black women being able to collaborate and partner to serve in a black community providing healthy food options. We aim to take care of our community primarily through food. We were also intentional about showing the youth that business owners really do look like them and can be successful.

Q. Have there been any challenges for you in starting your business?

A. We really haven’t faced any major challenges with our business. The obvious of course was COVID which delayed us opening in March 2020. Honestly we have been blessed and our customers have really been amazing in supporting us.

Q. What are your favorite menu items? What are some customer favorites that we should try?

A. I would say both our Mediterranean and Southwest salads are really popular. Our brunch toast are amazing as well. Our fan favorite would be our maple peanut butter. As for in house drinks our lattes are delicious and I would say the oat lavender latte has been a summer favorite, hot or iced.

Photo: Brunch toast from Cream + Sugar