When the neon purple Insomnia Cookies sign was posted at 422 E Main Ave., it was clear that Bowling Green would gain its third cookie shop in the past year.
Insomnia Cookies was welcomed by members of the community on Saturday, Jan. 29, during its pajama-themed grand opening.
The late night cookie chain currently has over 100 locations, according to the company’s website.
At the grand opening of the Bowling Green location, customers lined the sidewalk in anticipation to try the new cookie chain.
Larissa Frisby, a freshman and Bowling Green native, attended the grand opening. She and her friends dressed up in pajamas to prepare, she said.
“The cookies are a perfect ratio of crispy crust to soft inside,” Frisby said.
Frisby said the cookies’ taste was even better than their texture making them worth the wait.
The store’s late hours make Insomnia Cookies perfect for the Bowling Green community, Frisby said.
Frisby said that Insomnia Cookies will be most loved by students who are studying late, staying out with friends or even just craving a midnight snack.
She said she would come back at least once a month to eat the brand’s cookies.
Insomnia Cookies is not the only cookie shop to land in Bowling Green, as shops like Baked, The Cookie Depot and Creamery hit the scene before the chain restaurant. Baked opened in February 2021 while The Cookie Depot and Creamery opened in October 2021.
Located at 825 College St., Baked shares the downtown area with Insomnia Cookies.
Despite this, Jim Townsend, owner of Baked, said he hasn’t felt threatened by the opening of a competing chain.
“My base has grown, and my people showed up,” Townsend said. “I’ve not had any negative impact.”
Townsend said that Baked and Insomnia Cookies are different and can co-exist.
“There’s room enough for all of us,” Townsend said.
Unlike Insomnia Cookies, Baked is locally owned, and Townsend said he is solely responsible for his products.
“I work 10 hours a day doing this to make sure everything is to my standard,” Townsend said. “I think it really shows in what I make.”
When Baked first opened last year, Townsend said he expected business to be slow at first. However, the Bowling Green community exceeded his expectations and showed a surprising amount of excitement, he said.
“When we first opened, we were slammed,” Townsend said. “People were excited. It was fun.”
Townsend said he enjoys the community between downtown businesses. A lot of the small businesses communicate with one another in order to help build a successful community, he said.
“So far I have not been disappointed,” Townsend said. “Not with my decision to be here or with my decision to open a shop.”
Katie Biggs and her husband, Joshua, opened The Cookie Depot and Creamery after desiring to start a more lighthearted business in contrast to their other local business, Fuel Nutrition, which aims to create a healthy menu for its customers, Biggs said.
“I wanted people to bring their families in and maybe their dates, just have a fun night,” Biggs said.
Unlike Baked, Biggs said The Cookie Depot was hard to advertise when they first opened.
“It’s hard to get word around in Bowling Green if you’re not a chain, so we didn’t have quite as much exposure as a big chain would,” Biggs said.
Despite this initial struggle, Hannah Linn, a Cookie Depot employee, said the Bowling Green community was very supportive.
Linn said that Bowling Green loves to shop at locally-owned businesses, so a lot of people came in to show their support.
Biggs said that it did slow down, but the customer base grows with time.
“It’s gotten a lot better,” Biggs said. “Our community is very supportive once they figure out that local things are here.”
There are times when the shop has a line out the door, usually on weekends, Linn said.
January 29 was one of these busy days. Linn said that they had more business than usual because customers did not want to wait in the Insomnia Cookies line.
Other than that day, Biggs said that there has not been enough time to notice a change in business since the opening of Insomnia Cookies.
Biggs said that Insomnia Cookies’ arrival was a surprise, but she is looking forward to seeing how it goes.
“My hope is that it just brings attention to cookies. Maybe it’ll be some more exposure,” she said.
Brett Richardson, Indianapolis native and Insomnia Cookies employee, said he is excited for his new job.
While his previous job required him to be up early, Richardson said that he is a night owl and well-suited for Insomnia Cookies.
On opening night, Richardson handed out keychains, sunglasses and free samples. He also directed the “milk pong” game for customers who wanted to participate.
Richardson said he looks forward to the customer base, which is “like no other.” The impressive line on opening night proved this, Richardson said.
Insomnia Cookies also has a goal to be involved in the Bowling Green community, Richardson said.
“I am trying to be active in the community as much as possible,” Richardson said.
He said that Insomnia Cookies hopes to stay active in the college atmosphere as well as with local vendors.
“I’m really excited for Bowling Green in general to try our cookies,” Richardson said.