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Why college students love Insomnia Cookies

Warm cookies delivered during prime munchie hours — till 3 am

A chocolate peanut butter cup cookie, served warm in a mini pizza box
A chocolate peanut butter cup cookie, served warm in a mini pizza box

A new cookie shop turned up in Pacific Beach at the end of last year. Insomnia Cookies takes up little space on Garnet Avenue, just a hole in the wall about three blocks from Crystal Pier. When the sun poked out this week in between rains, I watched a steady trickle of idle pedestrians step in, lured by the promise of warm cookies.

Place

Insomnia Cookies

1007 Garnet Ave, San Diego

But near as I can tell, the business plan for Insomnia Cookies isn’t based on foot traffic, so much as the premise that college students really, really want cookies delivered at two in the morning. The national chain, which advertises home delivery of warm cookies until 3 am, and has spread to over a hundred locations, most within shouting distance of a large university.

Is it coincidence that every one of the chain’s four California locations have opened within the past four months, about a year after recreational marijuana became legal? You tell me.

Ice cream sandwich with double chocolate chunk cookie, double chocolate mint cookie, and mint chocolate chip ice cream

The “traditional” cookies, about the size of a coaster, go for $1.85, and might feature chocolate chunks, mint chocolate chunks, or white chocolate chunks with macadamia nuts. Several “deluxe” cookies run closer to the size of a compact disc, and feature larger chunks of chocolate or peanut butter cup, for $3.70.

The shop serves Thrifty ice cream, so I took the opportunity to make a Cookiewich for $6.50 (deluxe for $9). For each of the cookies in this on-demand ice cream sandwich, I chose chocolate cookies: one with chocolate chunks, one with mint chocolate. Mint chocolate chip ice cream in the middle. A generous scoop, as promised by the clerk behind the counter.

Cookies on display at Insomnia Cookies

To get a taste of warm cookie, I ordered a deluxe: chocolate peanut butter cup. Featuring chunks of the candy in a peanut butter cookie, the warm cookie was served in a miniature pizza box. I found each of the cookies right in the middle between crunchy and chewy. They’re soft cookies with just a little something to bite on.

Pretty good. Not spectacular, but a cure for the munchies I do not doubt. I thought they were more interesting with the ice cream. Turns out, the ice cream cookies, and pints of ice cream are available with the $2.99 delivery.

I’m not here to hate on cookies, but the idea of having them delivered sounds a little nuts to me. Then again, I was the guy shaking my fist at young adults riding electric scooters on the sidewalk outside the shop. A hundred college populations seem to think a late-night cookie shop is a great idea. Personally, I would have been more interested in late-night beer delivery.

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A chocolate peanut butter cup cookie, served warm in a mini pizza box
A chocolate peanut butter cup cookie, served warm in a mini pizza box

A new cookie shop turned up in Pacific Beach at the end of last year. Insomnia Cookies takes up little space on Garnet Avenue, just a hole in the wall about three blocks from Crystal Pier. When the sun poked out this week in between rains, I watched a steady trickle of idle pedestrians step in, lured by the promise of warm cookies.

Place

Insomnia Cookies

1007 Garnet Ave, San Diego

But near as I can tell, the business plan for Insomnia Cookies isn’t based on foot traffic, so much as the premise that college students really, really want cookies delivered at two in the morning. The national chain, which advertises home delivery of warm cookies until 3 am, and has spread to over a hundred locations, most within shouting distance of a large university.

Is it coincidence that every one of the chain’s four California locations have opened within the past four months, about a year after recreational marijuana became legal? You tell me.

Ice cream sandwich with double chocolate chunk cookie, double chocolate mint cookie, and mint chocolate chip ice cream

The “traditional” cookies, about the size of a coaster, go for $1.85, and might feature chocolate chunks, mint chocolate chunks, or white chocolate chunks with macadamia nuts. Several “deluxe” cookies run closer to the size of a compact disc, and feature larger chunks of chocolate or peanut butter cup, for $3.70.

The shop serves Thrifty ice cream, so I took the opportunity to make a Cookiewich for $6.50 (deluxe for $9). For each of the cookies in this on-demand ice cream sandwich, I chose chocolate cookies: one with chocolate chunks, one with mint chocolate. Mint chocolate chip ice cream in the middle. A generous scoop, as promised by the clerk behind the counter.

Cookies on display at Insomnia Cookies

To get a taste of warm cookie, I ordered a deluxe: chocolate peanut butter cup. Featuring chunks of the candy in a peanut butter cookie, the warm cookie was served in a miniature pizza box. I found each of the cookies right in the middle between crunchy and chewy. They’re soft cookies with just a little something to bite on.

Pretty good. Not spectacular, but a cure for the munchies I do not doubt. I thought they were more interesting with the ice cream. Turns out, the ice cream cookies, and pints of ice cream are available with the $2.99 delivery.

I’m not here to hate on cookies, but the idea of having them delivered sounds a little nuts to me. Then again, I was the guy shaking my fist at young adults riding electric scooters on the sidewalk outside the shop. A hundred college populations seem to think a late-night cookie shop is a great idea. Personally, I would have been more interested in late-night beer delivery.

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