'A lot of cookies': Open just 4 months, Destin's Crumbl Cookies sells 100,000 treats
The old adage “good things come in small packages” is only a half true when it comes to Crumbl Cookies.
Crumbl Cookies are anything but small, with each cookie measuring about 4 ¼ inches in diameter.
Crumbl Cookies, at Paradise Key at Kelly Plantation, 4447 Commons Drive in Destin, opened its doors in September. And in almost four months' time they have sold nearly 100,000 cookies.
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“That’s a lot of cookies,” said Josh McDonald, operating owner of the business just off Danny Wuerffel Way, a main thoroughfare in and out of Destin.
McDonald says business has been good. He hired a lot of people at the beginning, but was unable to open in time for last tourist season.
“But that gave us a chance to get the staff well trained and get ready to get busy in the next month or so,” he said.
Crumbl is closed on Sundays, but open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
“Those hours are standard across the board. Any other Crumbl across the country runs those hours,” McDonald said.
Crumbl Cookies started in 2017 in Utah when two cousins decided to create a cookie company.
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“They tested their way through their first couple of recipes. … Now it’s evolved,” McDonald said, noting they just opened their 700th location.
McDonald, who opened a Crumbl in Niceville in February 2022, said there are 50 Crumbls in Florida, with a lot in central and south Florida. The only other two on the Panhandle are in Pensacola and Tallahassee.
Not only are the hours the same for all locations, but so are the recipes.
“The menu is the same every week in all 700 locations. No matter where you are, if you go to a Crumbl you should get that quality and great experience we’re looking to give you,” McDonald said.
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The menu at Crumbl rotates weekly.
“We’ll always have six cookies on the menu, and chocolate chip will always be there. And we’ll always have some sort of chilled sugar cookie,” he said.
The other 170 flavors rotate weekly.
Last week, the menu had a French silk pie cookie, a classic peanut butter cookie, a lemon cupcake cookie, a caramel cake cookie, a classic pink sugar cookie and a pumpkin cake cookie.
“It’s a good balance of trying to make these innovative cookie flavors, also while honoring classic desserts. That’s kind of what Crumbl aims for,” McDonald said.
The signature cookie is the chocolate chip because it was the first.
But there are a couple of cookies that are “popular every time they come around,” McDonald said. The key lime pie, for instance, and anytime Crumbl has a partnership with Oreo, that cookie always sells really well.
And the Twix cookie is the most requested flavor, McDonald said.
Corporate handles all the partnerships with national brands, but a lot of the Crumbl cookies will have mix-ins from candy bars, Oreo’s, Twix or M&Ms.
“You’ll see a lot of those candy pieces mixed in the cookies,” McDonald said.
When does the menu change?
The menu is released every Sunday night on the company's social media platforms.
And Crumbl also has an app where you can order carry out, delivery or curbside. Or customers can come in and order cookies for that week.
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The app is available for I-phones and Androids.
Crumbl Cookies are sold by a single box, four-pack, six-pack and party packs that include 12 cookies.
“A lot of people are doing parties or events and they’ll come in and buy a dozen,” he said.
Crumbl also does catering for a minimum of 50 cookies.
“We have a separate catering menu. If the cookies of the week don’t follow the theme of the party or event you’re having, there is a separate catering menu where you can go in and pick what you might want,” McDonald said.
“Everything we make fresh here in store. The toppings, the cookies … we order flour, butter, sugar and go from there,” McDonald said.
Making of the cookies
When you walk into the business, there are two huge mixers behind the front counter and several warmers and ovens in the back where trays upon trays of cookies are stacked.
“It’s very tempting … it takes a lot of will power,” said Alina Rios as she iced the some of the cookies.
For Malachi Eldridge, he was busy making the batter for the cookies.
Since coming to work for Crumbl, Eldridge said, “I’m everybody’s best friend. They want me to bring them cookies.”
And none of the cookies at Crumbl go waste.
“At the end of the night, any cookies that don’t get sold we donate to a different business or organization in the community … the first responders or we take them to schools. That way we’re not throwing away those excess cookies,” McDonald said.
Valentine’s Day menu
“Valentine's is always a big week for Crumbl” McDonald said.
“Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day tend to be the two busiest days of the year as you can imagine,” he said.
Without giving away any secrets, he said there will be some Valentine-themed cookies coming through.
Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year. Crumbl will be open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. on that day.
A bit about the owner
McDonald was born in Fort Walton Beach and his dad was in the Air Force, so they traveled around quite a bit.
His most recent job before moving back to the Emerald Coast was working as a police officer in Los Vegas.
He had an old college roommate that was moving to Orlando to start a Crumbl, but his parents had since moved to Destin.
“It’s a place my family had come to visit for the last several years. And when the opportunity to bring the business here presented itself, we thought why not,” McDonald said.
He, his wife and three kids are here. They had two children at Destin Elementary and one at Noah’s Ark.
“So, we are here … we're involved in the community, we’re in the Little League, dance and gymnastics … all those things.
“We’re happy to be here and in the community,” he said.