Students looking to satiate their late-night sweet teeth now have more options than 7-Eleven or Dunkin’ Donuts. The Insomnia Cookies truck, parked on Montgomery Avenue outside the Student Center, is open for business and ready to fill students’ stomachs with sweets.
The truck is the latest location for Insomnia Cookies. The company has 18 locations at various university campuses. While the food truck may be indicative to Temple, this isn’t the company’s first venture with cookies on wheels.
Joe Essenfeld, COO for the company, said the decision for a truck or a store at a university depends on how the company can best reach students.
“At Temple, without a truck we’d have to put the location out-of-reach of students,” he said.
Chris DiMarco, a recent Temple graduate and an employee at the truck, said the prime location is great for sales.
“People who come to the truck aren’t just strolling by and see us,” he said. “They specifically come from all over campus for the cookies.”
DiMarco said the most popular cookies they sell are chocolate chunk and white chocolate macadamia.
Insomnia Cookies’ first customers were hungry University of Pennsylvania students.
Seth Berkowitz started baking cookies for friends in 2003, and news began to spread quickly around campus that there were warm cookies for sale.
From his dorm room, the company expanded quickly.
The truck not only includes window service, but at night, students can have their cookies delivered. Within a 10-block radius and at a $6 order minimum, one of the truck’s five delivery employees will deliver warm cookies in a small pizza box.
DiMarco said the truck sells about 500 cookies each day, and since its recent opening, the truck has made nearly $9,000.
“We try to make as many as we can, as fast as we can because we’ve been running out,” he said.
Selling out each night can be attributed to the truck’s frequent customers.
Kelli Crossin, an undeclared sophomore and truck employee, said some people who come to the truck for cookies are excited and want cookies quickly.
Crossin said she is a fan of Insomnia Cookies. That’s how she got her job on the truck.
“I’m addicted to Facebook, and I became friends with Insomnia Cookies after I saw the truck and had heard about it from my friend at UPenn,” she said. “I then saw a posting from Insomnia Cookies that they were hiring people, so I went by for an interview.”
Most of the truck’s employees are either Temple students or recent Temple graduates.
“I think we’re one of the only trucks on campus that employs students,” Essenfeld said.
Crossin said she doesn’t think she would ever work on another food truck.
“I think there’s a bit of a stigma to work on a truck, and students avoid it,” DiMarco said.
The Insomnia Cookies truck is the first food truck owned by a corporation on campus.
Bobby Gardner, a sophomore entrepreneurial business major, said he doesn’t mind the truck being owned by a company instead of a mom-and-pop operation.
“I don’t mind because I work at Philly Soft Pretzel Factory, and I think they should set up a truck here, too,” he said.
Employees at Eddie’s food truck next to Insomnia Cookies said they like their new neighbors.
Essenfeld said the truck is well received because it isn’t in direct competition with any of the other trucks.
DiMarco added its products are very specific and unique.
“There’s no other truck that sells sweets directly out of the truck,” he said. “If someone wants Snickers, they can go to another truck, but if it’s a cookie, they are going to come to us.”
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.