Crumbl Cookies plans to open first Ames location, offering big fresh cookies in pink boxes
Bart Coon and Rhett Andersen were both avid consumers of Crumbl Cookies before they became franchise owners. Now they’re planning to open their second central Iowa location in Ames in the next few months.
Coon’s wife introduced him to the pink box of cookies for which the company is well-known.
“They weren’t just cookies — they were big cookies,” he said. “Warm cookies, fresh out of the oven on the warm cookies, and chilled cookies for the ones that are chilled.
“Each cookie weighs north of a third of a pound, so they’re really big cookies, and I just thought they were delicious.”
What Coon wasn’t immediately aware of was the rotating menu of more than 200 specialty flavors, with five different varieties offered each week. Crumbl's warm milk chocolate chip cookies remain on the menu every week.
Coon showed up at a Crumbl Cookies store and tried to buy more of the flavor he’d gotten from that pink box.
“I asked what happened to that red velvet cookie with the white chocolate chips, and they said that’s not here now but will probably come back in a couple months or so,” he said.
Instead of the red velvet, he was introduced to the cinnamon swirl cookie.
“I was like, oh my gosh, these are so good. They’re big, and they’re good. That’s how I started getting addicted to the Crumbl cookie,” he said.
Andersen’s exposure to Crumbl Cookies was oddly similar to Coon’s. His wife got a pink box of cookies as a thank-you gift.
“We opened it up, and I started taking little slices off the cookies, and I said, ‘Those go in our bedroom. We are not sharing these with the kids,’” Andersen said.
Learning more about the Crumbl company, both men were impressed with the mission to have a fresh menu every week of freshly baked cookies. Cookies are baked daily from scratch, and cookies that aren’t sold within two hours of being baked are donated to worthy causes, such as fire and police departments, hospitals and schools.
“Our cookies are made from scratch. They’re not a frozen dough that we’re thawing out. We bring in the flour, the butter, the sugar, the vanilla, the cream cheese — everything,” Andersen said.
Andersen’s son Ty Andersen is the operating partner for the local site; he and his wife, a child and another on the way are living in Ames.
“Ty is my first born. It’s very exciting to be working with him on this,” Rhett Andersen said.
Crumbl Cookies’ franchise requirement to have a store owner-operator living in the community is important to Andersen and Coon.
“It’s one of the things I love about Crumbl corporate,” Rhett Andersen said. “On the side of each box of cookies it states that we’re about bringing together friends and family over the best box of cookies in the world. It’s about local people coming together.”
Ankeny location opened to long lines of customers
Crumbl Cookies will be located at 414 S. Duff Ave., and the franchise owners hope it will be open before school starts in the fall. The location, next to PepperJax Grill, was formerly Gary Thompson Oil Co.
“We’re really excited to be coming to Ames,” Coon said. “And we feel extremely fortunate to have been able to get that location on South Duff.”
Coon and Andersen have the franchising rights for the Ames and Des Moines metro area. Another store is planned for West Des Moines after the Ames site opens.
Their first location opened in Ankeny in January to two-hour-long lines of excited cookie customers.
“The store down in Ankeny has been doing fantastic, and we’re hoping for the same type of response up in Ames,” Coon said.
They anticipate the remodel of the Duff location will take about four months but acknowledge that could be affected by supply chain issues and labor constraints.
Both residents of Utah, the home state for Crumbl Cookies, Andersen and Coon said they’re impressed with the friendliness, kindness and support of central Iowa residents.
“The Des Moines metro and Ames area are really a gem in the Midwest — of people and enterprise. It’s been great for us. We love it there,” Coon said.
Every Crumbl Cookies store has an open kitchen so customers can watch the baking process.
Crumbl was founded in Logan, Utah, in 2017. In five years, it has grown to be the largest cookie company in the nation as well as the fastest-growing restaurant franchise, according to a news release. The franchise has more than 370 locations in over 40 states.