CIRCLE PINES — It's official. Now that the lease is signed, Creamery Crossing has confirmed it will open a second location in the former Matthew's Family Restaurant location.

Owner Darrell Carlberg, of Blaine, said that although he wasn't necessarily actively looking to add another location when the opportunity presented itself, he couldn't resist.

“We can expand the name and we can do some things that we have talked about. It wasn't something that I was looking at doing, necessarily, it was just this came available and it piqued my interest to a high level,” he said “It is the perfect location for us. It is on the main drag, it has been there for a number of years and I am familiar with the geographical area and the community. It was just the right location, the right choice, the right physical spot.”

Carlberg bought Creamery Crossing in Isanti in 1996. Before getting into the restaurant business, he worked in the public safety field for several years, both as a supervisor for the Anoka County 911 Center and as a director of communications for Allina Ambulance. In 1999, Carlberg had to sell the business after an unexpected death but reopened it in 2004. “To me, I never left,” he said.

The new Circle Pines location will operate much like the Isanti location and make for a very easy transition, Carlberg said. Creamery Crossing's general manager, Christopher Rossi, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations in Circle Pines, while Carlberg plans to stay in Isanti. “He is younger and more energized,” Carlberg said.

Rossi, a resident of Blaine, began managing restaurants in 1997. His career has brought him to several states, including South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. In 2014, Rossi decided to go back to school to become a nurse. After the school in Alabama closed, however, he decided to move back to his home state and fall back into what he knew.

“I am a people guy. Either way, I am helping people. I am either giving them medications or giving them food,” he said.

For over three years, Rossi has worked with Carlberg. Rossi said he is looking forward to showing the Quad community all that Creamery Crossing has to offer.

“I've already been here for weeks cleaning it up ... painting, redecorating and getting it ready,” he said. “I am looking forward to being involved with a different community and getting to know the new customers and make them customers for life.”

He added that “Matthew’s was probably a really great restaurant, I never ate there, but we want to show off what we can do. We are pretty amazing, too. We will get them craving our food.” Some of Matthew's staff will be returning to work for the restaurant.

In the beginning, the family café will be open for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week and will consider adding evening hours if the demand is there. The plan is to closely adhere to the menu the business already offers in Isanti. Eventually, it will expand to offer weekly breakfast and lunch specials. Rossi said he looks forward to offering all-you-can eat walleye on Fridays.

Creamery Crossing also plans to offer online ordering and even a mobile app. “We are bringing this location into the new age,” Rossi said, noting that he wants people of all ages to feel welcome at the restaurant.

The business is currently in the process of hiring staff. Finding quality cooks will be the biggest challenge, Carlberg and Rossi agreed. If you are interested, apply online at The target opening date is Feb. 3.


Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or

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