Residing across the street from the University of Nevada, Reno, Insomnia Cookies provides the downtown area with fresh baked goods almost 24 hours a day, never closing before 3 a.m. and reopening just a few hours later. While the late-night availability already sets Insomnia apart from its competitors, the business is known for making life even easier on customers by offering delivery as well. The delivery option is also available until closing. All menu items can be included, from cookies to ice cream to a combination of the two with ice cream sandwiches.
While it can be difficult to picture a rush of customers coming in at 2 in the morning, Insomnia's staff said the business actually benefits the most from its decision to stay open later than some bars in town.
“I think being open later than anyone else and having an ever-growing radius of where we will deliver helps our business more than anything,” manager Angel Le said.
Insomnia was founded by Seth Berkowitz in his college dorm room at the University of Pennsylvania and operates over 100 stores presently. It took Berkowitz three years after originally coming up with the idea to open his first store in Syracuse, New York in 2006.
In 2008, Insomnia began using food trucks to help spread awareness of its presence, running for eight years before the franchise transitioned to working in stores exclusively. Insomnia began delivering in 2015 and slowly began stretching the hours of its availability before finally making it an all-day option.
With its convenient location on campus, Insomnia is a good place for college students looking for a late night snack, or who may need a sugary treat after a late night out. Offering gluten-free and vegan options and a selection of cookies—including chocolate chunk, snickerdoodle and peanut butter chip—the small bakery knows how to create tempting desserts.
“College students and faculty make up a large part of our clientele, and I think it's because our business model is something they are comfortable with,” Le said. “We stay up late with you. We're working as hard as they are at the same hours of night. It's why many of our locations are based near college campuses.”
The store also sits within a half mile of all UNR residence halls, making it an easy journey for any student with a sweet tooth.
It's tough to imagine people lining up at the doors to take on the job of delivering cookies well after midnight, but Le said that it was much easier than they thought. The ability for some drivers to go straight from night classes at the university to their work was an easier selling point than they imagined.
“It's funny because most of our drivers actually want to work that late-night shift since that is when a lot of business is being done, and there's more opportunities to make money,” Le said. “So even though they'll be driving until 2 or 3 at night, it's actually been super easy finding people willing to work that late at night.”
Insomnia Cookies will be open well after most of the Reno population has already drifted off to sleep, but it doesn't mean they're not fulfilling the orders of night owls. With its close location to campus and flexibility, Insomnia Cookies could continue being a success all over the downtown area.