For the hungry, insomnia-afflicted college student, cookies are almost always the answer. At least that is what Insomnia Cookies, a popular cookie chain located on Hillsborough Street, has built its brand on. Insomnia Cookies is set apart from any other cookie retailer, not just because of their delicious desserts, but because of one’s ability to order these desserts in the wee hours of the night.
Insomnia Cookies is open for business, deliveries included, until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and until midnight every other day. According to Michael Southwick, a shift lead at the store, these unique operating hours make them quite the local hot spot near NC State’s campus.
“Right at the beginning of school, there was a surge in people, definitely a lot of newer people to the campus,” Southwick said. “There was an increase shortly, but it’s steadily trickled down over time.”
While Insomnia Cookies is open daily, the majority of business takes place on the weekends from 7-11 p.m, according to Southwick.
“It’s normal to see a line around the building every night, not just on the weekends or the first weeks of school,” Southwick said. “We usually have, I would say, 35 people lined up outside at the most.”
Luckily, Insomnia Cookies did not suffer too greatly at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Southwick, they had a pretty smooth run during the few months of quarantine.
The business has been doing their best to enforce social distancing guidelines and promote safety in the store, Southwick said. Employees are required to wear masks at all times and customers are required to wear them when inside of the store.
“We’ve still been able to operate under limited hours and precautions that we have to take by the CDC: only three people in the store at a time, every two hours we have to clean the store and sanitize it,” Southwick said. “We have no in-house seating, only outside seating.”
Britney Davis, a third-year studying parks, recreation and tourism management, said she feels like Insomnia Cookies has done well with regards to enforcing social distancing and adhering to safety guidelines.
“Insomnia did a great job of making sure they limited the number of people in the store and asked people to wait outside, so I felt very comfortable ordering cookies,” Davis said.
Since the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in online orders and deliveries, roughly a 25% increase. Southwick said that this is likely a result of students wanting to stay in their dorms or apartments to avoid unnecessary public outings.
Meredith Bateman, a second-year studying communications, said she has ordered delivery from Insomnia Cookies in order to play her part in social distancing.
“I would say online delivery has definitely been a helpful resource for all college students during this time,” Bateman said. “I use Grubhub a lot to get food from Talley and other on-campus options, along with off campus, like Insomnia. I feel a lot safer limiting contact and making sure to stay healthy, so options like online delivery is really beneficial.”
According to Southwick, one of the most popular orders at Insomnia is the Sixpack, which includes six traditional cookies for students looking to fulfill their guilty pleasures, safely.
“Typical cookies people buy the most are chocolate chunk, snickerdoodle, sugar cookie and, now, blueberry pancakes,” Southwick said. “I would say our most popular item right next to the Sixpack has to be a Cookie’wich.”
Insomnia Cookies has always been an important part of NC State culture and will continue to be so as it continues to service students who may be pulling an all-nighter while cramming for exams, or simply looking for something sweet. Those interested in ordering from Insomnia Cookies can do so from their website.