CASPER, Wyo – The day before opening might make any first-time business owner rightly terrified.
In Elizabeth Hogan’s case, she feels more like a kid at Christmas.
“It’s so exciting,” she said as her new staff buzzed around her. “I walked in here and it was kind of like I was playing kitchen as a little girl, but this is real life.”
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After months of planning, Wyoming’s first Crumbl Cookies franchise is opening on Thursday in Casper.
Since it was established in 2017, the Utah-based Crumbl Cookies has grown to more than 75 stores in 11 states, according to its website.
That number may actually be closer to 90 stores now, according to staff at the Casper location. In other words, it’s growing fast.
The concept is fresh cookies baked throughout the day from house-made dough, but with a social media twist.
According to Hogan, their signature chocolate chip and sugar cookies are sold every day. However, on Sunday nights the company uses Instagram to announce which four specialty flavors will be sold that week.
And what could be a considerable threat to Casper’s collective waistline, the store offers delivery with their own drivers or DoorDash as late as midnight on weekends.
The company’s founders were originally in software development before starting their cookie idea, and that mix of traditional baking with new technology is baked into the concept.
Staff communication is done online, and recipes for the 120 cookie varieties are accessed by tablets placed around the prep areas.
“It’s so tech-savvy,” said Hogan. “It’s really great for this generation because it’s like they were born with an iPhone in their hands, but even for my generation it’s all so simple.”
Hogan is the third person in her family to open a franchise. Her sister, Heather Berry, opened one in Missoula, Montana, earlier this year and is in Casper this week to assist her sister.
“I did this three months ago,” she said. “It’s so much fun, it’s such a good vibe.”
Berry opened her Missoula store days before the COVID-19 crisis. Fortunately for her, the store’s delivery and curbside concept survived health restrictions, along with the fact that people look to comfort food during stressful times.
“A lot of people laughed and said ‘thank you so much for being essential,'” said Berry. “When you’re stressed there’s nothing better than a nice warm chocolate chip cookie.”
Casper will get Wyoming’s first Crumbl Cookie thanks to a family road trip a couple of years back.
Hogan was living in Driggs, Idaho, and stopped here along the way. Immediately she was impressed with the town and its friendly atmosphere, she said. So when the Crumbl Cookie franchise was becoming a reality, she decided Casper would be a great place. The company agreed.
Eventually Hogan would like to open more locations in Wyoming.
“I am so excited to be in Casper, I felt like I hit the jackpot,” she said. “You’re lucky to have what you guys have here.”
Crumbl Cookies is located at 5030 E. Second Street, in Bliss Frozen Yogurt’s former location. Hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. They have a Facebook page. The Crumbl Cookie Instagram account can be seen here.