Late-night cravings find sweet satisfaction Uptown
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 22:10
Video credit to Miami University students Brenna Haven and Bethan Miller.
Oxford’s late-night cookie cravers have found new satisfaction with the recent openings of Baked Sweets, 32 W. High Street, and Insomnia Cookies, 33 E. High Street.
Jennifer Ward, from Miami University’s Office of International Education and one of Baked Sweets’ owners, said she and her fiancé, Justin Craime, wanted to invest their finances in something they thought would be appreciated by the Oxford community.
“When I was a student [at University of Texas at Austin], we had a company that delivered cookies late-night, and I thought Oxford would be a great platform for this idea,” Ward said.
Ward said the company helped to bring their idea to life.
“At first, we talked to local bakeries about expanding ... then we met the owner of Quiznos, Justin Elgie, who thought this was a great idea,” Ward said. “We decided to open up with Elgie in the Quiznos store, and corporate Quiznos was actually very favorable of this idea.”
Baked Sweets has its own staff members, some of whom are cross-staffed with Quiznos. They are all trained by Cramie, Ward said.
“Justin [Cramie] makes all of the cookie recipes and teaches our staff how to make them from scratch in small batches like the cookies we make at home,” Ward said. “We use all natural ingredients with very little, if any, preservatives at all.”
Ward described the success of their endeavor since their grand opening, Aug. 12.
“We weren’t expecting to be as busy as we were right off the bat,” Ward said. “Members of the local community were very excited about our opening before school started. We kept selling out of our chocolate chip cookies.”
At this point, most of their clientel has been drawn by word of mouth, according to Ward, who said they still have a lot of marketing they want to do. They will be continuing to make changes moving forward.
“We understand that we’re not a chain, but believe our community supports and shows loyalty to local individual businesses, and we hope that people will recognize us more as a ‘Mom and Pop’ cookie delivery place,” Ward said. “We also hope to create a unique counter at the Quiznos, making the space more homey and welcoming for our costumers.”
The creator of Insomnia Cookies, Seth Berkowitz, also recognized the need for a late-night cookie fix in 2003 when he started his business, according to marketing manager at Insomnia Cookies, Renee Sarnecky.
“The concept was built by Seth when he attended college at University of Pennsylvania,” Sarnecky said.
“There were limited late-night food options, so he began making cookies out of his dorm room and started delivering them all over campus, and it was a huge success.”
Renne Sarnecky is marketing manager for the Insomnia Cookie brand, headquartered in New York City. She said she spends time at the different locations during each store’s launch.
“We hire a general manager, who goes through extensive training to learn everything that goes into running a bakery,” Sarnecky said. “Then the general manager is responsible for training the new staff members before opening.”
Miami students are currently involved with members of Insomnia’s marketing team, Sarnecky said.
“We keep about three to four marketing reps active after opening, and their job is to help promote deals and assist during fundraising events throughout the year,” Sarnecky said.
Miami sophomore Ivy Shtull discussed her role as a part of the marketing team during the opening at Insomnia Cookies.
“I worked with about seven to ten other Miami students during the opening,” Shtull said. “We went around Oxford handing out coupons with the different deals going on and it was a great way to meet other members of the community.”
Sarnecky also encouraged members of the Oxford Community to sign up for weekly emails, which offer exclusive deals. Sarnecky said students and community members should consider Insomnia Cookies as a resource during fundraising initiatives as well. More information is available at https://insomniacookies.com.