Insomnia Cookies to open in Dinkytown, deliver late-night treats

Insomnia Cookies will open its doors this fall

Insomnia Cookies to open in Dinkytown, deliver late-night treats

Meghan Holden

From its beginnings in a dorm room at the University of Pennsylvania, Insomnia Cookies has made its way to Dinkytown.

Owner Seth Berkowitz started the late-night cookie delivery business in 2003 when he was living in the UPenn dorms.

Since then, Insomnia Cookies has been providing freshly baked, late-night treats to students in 40
locations.

Although the Dinkytown location on 14th Avenue Southeast won’t open until fall, the new shop is the “perfect next move” for the business, said spokeswoman Renee Sarnecky.

With the start of the new school year, students will be able to order cookies for delivery until nearly 3 a.m. — if the city approves Insomnia’s request to stay open late.

Insomnia Cookies will have a public hearing with the Dinkytown Business Association and the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association before their application is approved. A date hasn’t been set for the hearing.

Skott Johnson, DBA president, said the organization doesn’t have any concerns with the late-night request.

Sufficient late-night security and reducing crowds is always a priority for Dinkytown, Johnson said. But because the store will focus on delivery, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop tried to get a late-night license last summer but gave up because of Dinkytown’s security issues in the fall, said Potbelly manager Joel Berlowe.

The City of Minneapolis told Berlowe he would have to hire an off-duty officer, install security cameras and make other improvements to stay open late, he said.

Berlowe said they might consider applying for a late-night license in the future, but stories of vandalism and other security problems at late-night restaurants has “turned them off” of the idea.

The city expects Insomnia Cookies to be successful without negatively affecting the area, said licensing inspector Linda Roberts.

Johnson said the DBA tries to avoid “repeating” businesses in Dinkytown, and a cookie shop will add variety.

“I think this will be a good fit,” Johnson said, adding he’s missed the smell of freshly baked goods since Dinkytown’s Gordon’s Bakery closed in the 1980s.

Insomnia Cookies has more than a dozen types of cookies, which they’ll deliver by bike and car, Sarnecky said.

“It isn’t your standard delivery food,” she said.

Sarnecky said Insomnia hopes to become a part of the University of Minnesota campus through their marketing representative program, where students can get paid to promote the brand around campus.

Insomnia Cookies has been integrated into UPenn student life from the beginning.

The “aroma of the cookies attracts daily crowds” in the student union, said Thomas Hauber, executive director for the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life.

“It’s a classic brand for UPenn,” Sarnecky said.