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Folks lining up for decadent cookies at Crumbl in Millbury

Crumbl Cookies is enjoying sweet success since its grand opening on May 20 at the former B.Good health food restaurant at the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley in Millbury.

Owner Richard Howell of Shrewsbury and Dennis Sosa of Millbury, owner/operator, opened the store, the sixth location in Massachusetts for the Crumbl Cookies national chain. Howell and Sosa also are opening a Crumbl Cookies in Attleboro and are in the process of leasing a spot in the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury.

There’s no doubt that people love the over-the-top flavors of the store’s cookies made-from-scratch. A 20-minute wait outside (or longer) is normal during peak times. The aroma of freshly baked cookies is reason enough to step inside. Warm cookies are packed in pink boxes in a store that’s modern and squeaky clean. The cookies are mixed, baked and prepared in an open kitchen so customers can see each cookie being made. The staff is attentive, friendly and welcoming.

“It was Richard’s idea to own a franchise in Millbury,” said Sosa, who signed on as a partner after Howell had visited and checked out franchises in the state. “It’s exciting, and we’re constantly learning new things about the business,” he said.

The men first met when for a short time Sosa worked for Howell at a local solar company. They remained friends when Sosa returned to the technology industry, where he had worked for more than 20 years.

The owners said they especially like Crumbl Cookies’ collaborative atmosphere, and that regional franchise owners belong to a group text ensuring that everyone is equipped with whatever they need. “Despite being competitors, we’re all friendly and show support for everyone to succeed,” said Sosa. “We’re a very family-oriented company.”

The Millbury store bakes thousands of cookies to keep up with demand, selling up to 3,000 a day despite being open less than a month. Cookies are described as “chewy on the inside with slightly crisp edges, giving them a snap when you bite into them.”

The popularity of Crumbl Cookies is backed by the fact that the Millbury store very often sells out of cookies before they come out of the oven. It’s around 45 minutes from prep time to finished cookies, said Sosa. “We barely make them fast enough for people in line,” he said. After a recent local high school’s graduation, customers knew there would be a 45- minute wait for cookies, he said, and they didn’t leave. Customers even have waited outside in pouring rain.

To avoid the wait and cut the line, customers can order ahead on the Crumbl App for cookie in-store pickup or curbside. Catering info and special offers also are on the app. Note: The store offers smaller versions of cookies for catered events.

In the store, a single specialty cookie costs $4.38, with a discount on six-pack boxes. The store does not personalize cookies. However, it will put a Happy Birthday, or other special occasion sticker on the Crumbl Cookies box.

Howell explained the company has 200 recipes in rotation, and menu options change weekly. There are five different specialty flavors each week, in addition to the classic milk chocolate chip cookie that’s always available. The new Lemon Blackberry Cookie, Snickerdoodle Cupcake, Buttermilk Pancake, Orange Creamsicle and Iced Oatmeal were on the June 6-11 menu. Catering cookies include Lemon Crinkle, Milk Chocolate Chip and Walnut Fudge Brownie.

What about the customer who has a favorite flavor and it’s no longer available the next week? Howell’s answer, “Customers come back and tell us that they have found a new favorite.” There are so many creative flavors available for customers to try, he said.

Sosa said the Millbury store has 50 part-time employees, the majority of them students who will work through the summer. The owners continue to interview and hire staff to be ready for when students return to college in the fall, he said.

When the owners were asked if they ever thought they would one day owning a food business, both of them answered, “No,” without missing a beat. Sosa said he had worked for Domino’s Pizza when he was a student at Worcester State College. “At home, I’m really the barbecue guy,” Sosa said. “I never baked cookies until now. I really enjoy it.”

Crumbl Cookies in Millbury is open 8 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday; 8 am to midnight, Friday and Saturday; closed Sundays. Telephone (774) 462-0202; Visit https://crumblcookies.com/mamillbury.” Follow on Instagram and other social media.

The first Crumbl Cookies store opened in Logan, Utah, in 2017. The company has expanded to more than 300 bakeries in 36 states nationwide, to according to its website, which offers more company history. Massachusetts stores are in Hanover, Medford, Methuen, Saugus and Woburn.

There was a line outside Crumbl Cookies the day of our interview with the owners. Most people get annoyed when someone cuts in front of them so the Telegram & Gazette photographer politely explained that we were on “assignment,” and we were not cutting in line. No dirty looks from the crowd.

Stepping inside the store, you’re immediately hit with the smell of fresh baked cookies. Howell and Sosa said they haven’t gotten used to the aroma yet, despite being in the business every day. The cookies are served warm, so you almost have no choice to buy at least a single cookie, maybe to eat in the car. The Lemon Crinkle cookie I tried was packed with big, bold lemon flavor.

A truly decadent indulgence!

Wine dinner at Tomasso Trattoria

Tomasso Trattoria in Southborough will host a five-course Italian wine dinner featuring the wines of Villa Matilde at 6:30 pm June 22.

Reservations for the dinner, $95 per person, plus tax and gratuity, can be made by calling (508) 481-8484. The Vin Bin in Marlborough will offer discounted pricing on Villa Matilde wines the night of the event. Visit www.tomassotrattoria.com for more information.

Wine, food truck festival in Brimfield

The Pioneer Valley Wine & Food Truck Festival is set for June 11-12, rain or shine, at Brimfield Auction Acres, 35 Main St., Brimfield. Event host is Brimfield Winery & Cider.

Visit https://brimfieldwinery.com for festival times and ticket information. Food, wine, music and more!

Hardwick Vineyard summer hours

Hardwick Vineyard & Winery in Hardwick has new summer hours.

Visit the winery from 11 am to 6 pm Sunday through Thursday; 11 am to 8 pm Friday and Saturday. Live music daily.

This month, Hardwick’s featured wine is Prescott Pear. The winery’s June specials include Prescott Pear Sangria and Pear Wine Slushee.

If you have a tidbit for the column, call (508) 868-5282. Send email to bhulefood@gmail.com.

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