Paige Connell has been baking since she was a little girl, but she’s come a long way from the Easy-Bake Oven. Today, Connell is the sole owner, baker and driver for Midnite Munchies, a business that delivers fresh, home-baked cookies to customers’ doorsteps between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. each night. She’s been in business only since May, but Connell has already developed a clientele in the student community by keeping up with Facebook and handing out free samples at community events. She bakes her goodies in her driveway in a quaint, customized trailer that’s outfitted with a commercial kitchen, and delivers them on her own to hungry Chico residents until the wee hours of the morning. Log onto http://midnite-munchies.com for ordering info.
For the first month, I was getting one or two orders a night, so not very many. But last Monday [near the end of September], I started getting like six or eight orders a night, and that’s pretty much where it’s been since. So it’s picking up a little. Seven deliveries a night kind of feels like a lot because it’s just me, but since last week, I’ve been making enough money to cover all my costs and then have a lot left over. So I’m finally making some money from it. And it’s so rewarding to deliver the cookies and see the people, and they’re all happy. And a lot of times they’ll just start eating it in front of me. They’ll be looking for their money and they’ll have seven cookies in their mouth. It’s a really good feeling.
How did Midnite Munchies come about?
I’ve just really liked baking, from the time I was a small child. And at the time I got the idea, I was going through school and it was really expensive and I wasn’t getting a whole lot of help. So I decided to take a leave of absence from UC Santa Cruz and get a baking certificate. I also had a boyfriend at the time who was really into delivery and showed me examples of other delivery services that had been successful in Santa Cruz and other places around the country.
Why did you choose Chico?
I chose Chico because it’s close to my hometown [of Quincy] and there are a lot of students here. It’s got a lot of young people and that was my target audience—the younger crowd, students who are up late at night studying and students who are out partying.
What’s on the menu?
Every single night we have chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, brownies, seven-layer bars and wildcat scat—it’s like peanut butter and chocolate with oats in it. It will melt in your mouth, it’s like … fudgy. And really good.
Do you have any specials?
I’m working on getting it going. Sometimes I’ll be baking something, like cookies for myself or whatever, and I can sell those as specials. But I’m thinking about adding things to the menu in the future. I kind of wanted to sell soup in the winter time because it will be cold at night, but I’m not sure yet.