In 2003, Seth Berkowitz, then a University of Pennsylvania student, had an idea: He wanted to find a way to satisfy college students’ late-night cravings for something sweet. He began to bake cookies in his own college dormitory, delivering them to fellow students in the area — and unlike most local bakeries, his services extended long past midnight.
What began as a simple campus delivery service, however, quickly grew into a popular bakery chain. Berkowitz is now the CEO of Insomnia Cookies, which opened its first retail store in 2004 and now has 113 locations across the United States.
Insomnia Cookies, which is based in Philadelphia and New York, opened its first location in Washington, D.C. last November. The chain will open two more locations in the District this summer, with one along the H Street Corridor and another on O Street in Georgetown. The Georgetown storefront, just a 15-minute walk from the front gates, is located across the street from Wingo’s, a D.C.-based takeout restaurant that also specializes in late-night service.
“We are always on the lookout for the next neighborhood or university that will be a great fit for us. We are especially excited about our two new locations in D.C., though. Opening a store here had always been a goal of ours. Last fall we achieved this goal with the opening our of Adams Morgan location, and we have been eager to continue our growth throughout D.C. ever since!” Catharine Gatlin, marketing manager of Insomnia Cookies, wrote in an e-mail to The Hoya.
Insomnia Cookies bakeries are often located in the vicinity of college campuses, catering to young students hungry for a late-night treat. Luckily for them, Insomnia Cookies delivers until 3 a.m. Customers can purchase their baked goods online and keep an eye on their order using the Cookie Tracker, or simply visit the store in person.
The bakery offers nine different varieties of cookies, which include classics like snickerdoodle, chocolate chunk and oatmeal raisin, as well as three deluxe flavors: triple chocolate chunk, s’mores and chocolate peanut butter cup. Cookies are warm and freshly baked, and customers have the option of having their cookies served a la mode or, of course, with a refreshing glass of milk. Also on the menu at Insomnia Cookies are a selection of cookie cakes, ice creams and toppings, brownies and cookie sandwiches.
According to Gatlin, customers who present a special coupon in store on opening day will receive a free cookie. Coupons will be available online and will be handed out to passersby in the neighborhood. Opening dates for the upcoming locations in D.C. have not yet been confirmed.
As the new Insomnia Cookies storefronts take shape, District residents will be eager for a chance to try the warm baked treats beloved by college students and their neighbors across the country. With Wismiller’s closing at 11:30 p.m., Georgetown students now have a reason to choose to take a trip down O Street for their midnight snack — Insomnia Cookies is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth.
Insomnia Cookies will be located at 3204 O Street NW and 1309 H Street NE.