When thinking of a typical college student’s late night snack, fresh and warm cookies do not come to mind. However, on Rowan’s campus, Cookie Munchers has become a classic.
To celebrate their progress on Nov. 10, Cookie Munchers celebrated its one year anniversary of opening up a storefront location with many activities for the community to get excited about.
The shop opened the store by handing out free t-shirts to the first 100 customers in line, while also providing live entertainment.
Skylar Springer, a freshman music and industry major, performed some of her favorite songs from her original music discography.
“It’s really small and intimate, which I like,” Springer said. “Those are my favorite places to perform.”
The day continued with a taste test of the next cookie of the month, along with the opportunity to decorate cookies for all ages. The night finished out with a cookie challenge where participants attempted to eat 10 big cookies and drink one pint of milk in 20 minutes. The new spicy cookie challenge also took place in which one cookie with hot sauce had to be eaten without drinking water for 10 minutes.
Compared to the grand opening of the storefront location, owner and class of 2016 Rowan alumni Brandon Lucante (entrepreneurship and advertising major) and Cassie Aran (public relations and advertising major) were hands off and left the responsibility of organizing and planning to the general manager.
“Honestly, everyone felt pretty prepared going into it and it seemed to go pretty well,” employee Mateo Diaz from Franklinville said. “We were fully staffed, with almost everyone working to make sure they were never short-handed.”
With the various activities, Cookie Munchers was able to show their growth in business. In just short of two years the owners went from making cookies out of Ry’s Bagel Shop during the nighttime to having a successful storefront.
“It’s an amazing experience to see it go from what it was a year ago today,” Lucante said. “When people came in, we had poster and handwritten menus.”
However, there were still some bumps in the road for these young entrepreneurs. At first, when they came up with the idea to run a cookie shop to fuel their passion for travel, most of their friends and family were skeptical and cautionary.
“We’ve even had a friend say ‘that’s going to be the end of you’ and ‘don’t you dare start selling cookies, it’s going to be the biggest mistake of your life,’” Aran said.
But through their travels and studying abroad, their eyes were opened to the possibilities and benefits of risk-taking. Namely, the couple completed the RedBull challenge, where they had to find a way in seven days to travel to seven countries with no money.
“It was hard,” Cassie said, “but no matter what happens, we’ll be okay.”
Much of their experiences, both through travel and business, have been broad-cast through their YouTube channel, amassing over 2,000 subscribers. Many of these videos provide teasers or extra content to put on other social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook.
“I’m super upbeat, which is why I think I love video. I think video is the biggest thing that plays a part in why our social media is so successful,” Aran said.
Cookie Munchers has recently focused their attention at their new Tampa location, where the market is wide open for them to surround colleges with few competitors. From there, they would like to start franchising their company.
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