Hemsley and McGowan have used in-store theater and social media to create the fastest-growing cookie chain in the nation.
It's a story of determination that paid off.
Two cousins from Utah who struggled for years before landing upon the milk chocolate chip cookie recipe that made their company, Crumbl Cookies, one of the fastest-growing in the country are set to open their 326th store, at The Levee District in East Peoria. It will be the company's fourth location in Illinois and first in the central region of the state.
Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley opened the first Crumbl Cookies shop in 2017, in Logan, Utah, with just that one cookie, but soon succeeded in adding several others. The stores now feature four specialty cookies each week, along with the standard favorites: warm chocolate chip and chilled sugar cookie. The items are packaged in Crumbl’s signature pink box. Cold milk and gourmet ice cream are also on the menu.
“Crumbl Cookies will bring a new and unique bakery option to the area and we’re thrilled that The Levee District was chosen as the first location for Crumbl in Central Illinois," said A.T. Toroyan, VP and director of real estate for Cullinan Properties, owner and operator of The Levee District.
Aside from selections such as the Christmas Birthday Cake and the Peppermint Bark cookies, the cousins peg their success to showmanship. Customers entering Crumbl shops can watch their cookies being mixed, balled, baked and dressed in real-time.
“Having our customers see every cookie being made is one of the best experiences of our stores,” stated co-founder and COO Hemsley. “Each ingredient is carefully chosen to provide customers with the highest quality cookie on the market.”
Crumbl’s expansion was quickened by an aggressive social media strategy. Its app is ranked in the Top 10 for food and drink daily downloads in the iOS store according to App Annie, ahead of Subway and Instacart.