Midnight cookie cravings, fulfilled!

The cookies on display at Insomnia Cookies, in Amherst.Photo: Sophie Schreyer

It’s 12:30 a.m. on a Saturday. You and your friends are craving something sugary, but have no energy to bake and few places are still open. Suddenly, Insomnia Cookies pops into your head. What a better way to quench your appetite than with delicious and warm cookies delivered right to your door? 

In 2003, entrepreneur and college student Seth Berkowitz began making a profit by baking and delivering fresh, warm cookies to his peers’ dorm rooms at the University of Pennsylvania, to satisfy their late-night cooking cravings.

By 2006, the first Insomnia Cookies storefront was established in Syracuse NY. In 2008, Insomnia Cookies started delivering cookies door to door by truck. Today, there are over 100 franchises all over the country. 

Insomnia now offers more than just cookies; they’ve expanded to selling and delivering brownies, cookie-cakes, and even cold milk and ice cream at most locations, open from 10 a.m-3 a.m. 

Insomnia cookies offers 12 kinds of cookies year round and introduces seasonal cookies for special times of the year. Cookie types include classics like Chocolate Chunk, M&M, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter Chip, and Sugar, as well as flavors more unique to Insomnia such as Double Chocolate Mint, Double Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodle, and White Chocolate Macadamia, for $1.25 a piece before a $2.99 delivery fee, plus tax and tip, which can quickly jack up the price.

They also have three deluxe cookies for $2.50 which are slightly larger and packed with more toppings; they are Smores, Triple Chocolate, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. On December 5, the Spicy Hot Cocoa Cookie was introduced for the holidays. 

 Julianne Spingler, Insomnia Cookies Marketing and Events Coordinator for New England, the Northeast, and the Midwest, joined the Insomnia Cookies team this past summer. She became a frequent customer of the Insomnia Cookies truck stationed at Temple University while she was a student there. Insomnia was her “life-force.” Spingler said her favorite cookie is “typically Snickerdoodle, [but] S’mores Deluxe if I’m feeling fancy.”

 By the time she had graduated and was searching for a job, Insomnia Cookies seemed like the perfect fit as she knew she would have “the opportunity to have a diverse workload, be creative, and actively problem-solve daily.” 

Insomnia loves “to get involved with the community and give back, donating cookies to different nonprofits and fundraising events throughout the year. For a week this past October, we donated a $1 from every Sugar Rush (12-pack) sold to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” said Spingler. Insomnia Cookies’ “five main values are: Family First, Support, Growth, Communication and Fun,” she said.

This supportive and kind environment was demonstrated when Maddie Esposito, a freshman at the University of Rochester, and her boyfriend went to Insomnia Cookies at 2:00 a.m. this summer. 

“We were both tired but really happy since it was the first time we had seen each other in a month. The lady behind the counter came up to us and gave us three cookies for free since she said we seemed like we had a hard day. That wasn’t the case, but the gesture was still appreciated,” Esposito said. 

Esposito is a frequent customer and choses Insomnia because it’s “really good.” She and her boyfriend “often [go] when [when it’s very late] and we are bored, without much else to do,” said Esposito. Her favorite cookie is Snickerdoodle, but she’s “a big cookiewich person.”

Naomi Johnson is an ARHS student whose summer program in Boston was enriched by an Insomnia Cookies being close by.

“This summer I was at a six-week boarding program at BU and there was an Insomnia right near my dorm,” Johnson said, “so I went all the time.”

One reason cookie delivery appeals to college students (or those studying on a campus) is that there is usually no way for them to easily bake cookies on a whim.

Johnson admitted to having a “thing for studying alone in town,” and while walking around, if she was hungry, she’d “stop in” and order 1-2 cookies or coffee ice cream.

Loyal insomniacs can sign up for a Cookie Dough Loyalty program, whereby every dollar one spends on any treat wins customers a point; for every 100 points they earn, they get $10 in Insomnia cash to spend.

And when customers spend more than $20 on an order they receive 1.25 points for every dollar. To get points, customers must order online or through their app. 

  Griffin Jones, an ARHS junior only goes to the brick and mortar store, where he orders with friends. 

“I always get the traditional cookie-wich with white chocolate macadamia and snickerdoodle cookies and then chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I get that every time. That is my favorite cookie.” 

He also gets whole milk everytime to compliment his dessert. The latest Jones has gone is “2:50 [am], right before it closes.”

“Insomnia is nice because it’s in town, so it’s walkable from my house but [I] mostly [go] because it’s open so late,” he said. 

There have been times when Linden Jimison, a sophomore at ARHS, has wanted cookies and didn’t know any other place for cookies in town. Jimison usually “gets two cookies, chocolate chunk and oatmeal raisin. ARHS senior, Evan Hu, has enjoyed cookies “at probably midnight.” Hu chooses Insomnia because “it’s right there.” When he goes, he orders “one cookie because they are expensive, and I have no money,” said Hu. Hu does not have a specific favorite; instead, “my favorite is all of them, because they are cookies,” he said. 

Julie Singer a senior in high school from Texas has “always ordered with friends because we were all hungry and [when] we [first] heard the cookies were amazing we had to try them.” 

Singer’s favorite is chocolate chunk and the latest she’s ordered was around “ten because of our curfew,” Singer said, laughing. 

Singer went to Insomnia because before she attended The ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute and a friend of hers wanted to try it. When she arrived to DC for ACLU with her friend, it was the first thing they ordered. Singer has only ever gotten cookies delivered, “but every time I got it, it was so amazing and delivery was actually pretty fast,” Singer said.

Full disclosure: when writing this article, I wanted to test out the local delivery service, which starts bringing cookies door to door after 10 a.m. I ordered a 6 pack online the day before for delivery at 11:30 a.m. the next day, which was confirmed via email. However, my delivery came two hours late, so my cookies were not as warm or gooey as I’d hoped, indicating that the morning cookie game may be less reliable than the late night one, when the bulk of Insomnia’s Cookies go out.

ARHS senior, Taylen Pope said “Whenever I’m in town at night, I gotta snag some cookies. If I don’t, it means I have no money.” 

Pope also gets cookies delivered “whenever I’m home, craving some cookies,” he said. Pope usually orders the six pack for himself. His favorite flavor is Chocolate chunk “because when you get the chocolate chunk cookies, the chocolate it still gooey in the cookie and it tastes so good,” Pope said. 

While sometimes enjoying cookies is more about the experience of making them from scratch with friends and family, other times it is nice to be served a warm, gooey cookie that will literally melt your problems away.  

According to Julianne Spingler, being located in downtown Amherst, “we see families and customers of all ages, including students from both colleges taking advantage of our late night hours or specials for finals season,” Spingler said.