Brianna Lindsey was stuck at home with her new baby when she was hit with a craving for a warm chocolate chip cookie.
What choices did the young Salt Lake City mother have?
There was no time — or ingredients — to whip up a batch of homemade batter. Who has energy for that, with a kid sleeping in the next room?
Lindsey did what young and tech-savvy eaters do best — get online and order from one of the late-night cookie delivery shops sprinkled across the Wasatch Front.
About 30 minutes later, like an angel sent from melted chocolate heaven, a driver from Goodly Cookies pulled up. Carrying a black insulated warmer — the kind used for pizza delivery — he pulled out a cardboard box containing four large, warm, satisfying cookies.
“I just love the gooey, fresh-out-of-the-oven taste,” Lindsey said.
Many people in Utah and across the country feel the same way, as late-night cookie delivery services are on the rise.
“Everyone loves cookies,” said Brandon Plewe, co-owner of Goodly Cookies. “But they like them even more when they are warm and brought right to your door.”
Utah’s warm-cookie craze includes a company called Chip Cookies, which has stores in Salt Lake City, Provo and Boise; Crumbl Cookies, with its original store in Logan and new shops in Bountiful and Cottonwood Heights; and Baked Cookie Box in Logan.
While the cookies — and recipes — vary, the basic operations are similar. Customers can walk into a store and buy cookies, or they can order online or through an app for delivery.
A box of four large cookies — depending on the company — costs between $10 and $12. Customers also can add cold milk to their order for a few dollars more.
Most stores start selling in the late afternoon and remain open late — sometimes until 2 a.m. — to satisfy those cravings for chocolate.
At Goodly Cookie, there are several cookie choices, including chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter, double chocolate walnut, white chocolate raspberry and a Big Cinn-a-Jon, named after Utah philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman Sr., who died in February.
The snickerdoodle-type cookie was supposedly Huntsman’s favorite, said Plewe, who works for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
A decade ago, Plewe was treated at the hospital for a rare form of cancer. Lying in a hospital bed, sicker than he’d ever been, he made a promise: “If I ever made it out there,” he said, “I was going to give back.”
Today, Goodly Cookies donates 1 percent of all sales to the institute to support cancer research.
At Chip, which launched in Provo in 2016, there is only one cookie on the menu — chocolate chip. But the company does offer a seasonal flavor each month, said Stephen Wirthlin, who co-owns the company with his brother Chris Wirthlin, sister Sarah Wilson and brother-in-law Sean Wilson.
“We like how simple we are,” he said. “One cookie, one size. We’re not Baskin Robbins with 31 flavors.”
The idea for late-night cookie delivery can be attributed to Seth Berkowitz, who launched Insomnia Cookies in 2004 while attending the University of Pennsylvania. He mixed and baked them in his apartment and delivered them, too.
No surprise that the idea resonated with college students, who are experts at staying up late to study — or party with friends.
Today, Insomnia Cookie has more than 130 locations, many near college campuses. Its lone Utah store is near Brigham Young University in Provo, a town that has embraced the late-night cookie scene much as other college towns might support beer bars.
Chip Cookies likes to take some of the credit. Wirthlin said when the company was taste-testing recipes, it often would go to BYU for customer feedback. “Students would come find us,” he said. “They knew they could get a free cookie if they filled out a survey.”
The cookie delivery trend is driven mostly by millennials who don’t mind paying extra for convenience. Also playing a part are improvements to online ordering systems and mobile platforms that make it easy for customers to order takeout and track delivery.
That’s part of what Helen Langan liked about ordering from Chip.
Langan, who lives in Salt Lake City but works in Lehi, had heard about the cookie delivery concept from her Utah County colleagues.
When she learned that Chip was delivering in Salt Lake City, she and her husband made a late-night order after they put their young children, ages 5 and 9 months, to bed.
Part of the novelty was tracking the order on her cellphone, she said, watching as the cookies left the store and receiving a text when the driver was close — something akin to Uber.
“I love the concept,” she said. “I love what it says about Salt Lake City and how it’s evolved.”
But how do the cookies taste?
“They definitely fit my definition of a great chocolate chip,” she said. “Soft and gooey inside, crisp around the edges.”
And the best part — you don’t have to get out of your pajamas to enjoy them.
Editor’s note: Tribune owner and publisher Paul Huntsman is a son of the late Jon Huntsman Sr.