Insomnia Cookies, the late-night bakery started by 2004 College graduate Seth Berkowitz at Penn in 2003, announced in June that they will open an experimental headquarters in Center City.
Berkowitz serves as the CEO of the company, which has over 200 locations across the United States. The cookie company will relocate its headquarters to a 26,000-square-foot building at 1 S. Broad St., across from City Hall. The change to a new location is a part of an "aggressive expansion plan" for the chain.
“Center City is the perfect location to attract professionals with diverse talent and perspectives who have a hunger for innovation” as well as a “prime spot to connect with Insomniac customers,” Berkowitz wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Above the storefront on the ground level will be an experimental test kitchen where the company’s “cookievation” team will work to develop new flavors and products that customers can try. The second floor of the headquarters will be a hub for new ideas related to their menu. Finally, the third floor will be dedicated to office space and conference rooms, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Insomnia Cookies also plans to expand product offerings and the physical footprints of stores during the second half of the year, Berkowitz wrote. “Now is an essential time for our growth and maturation as a brand. We’ve started the first half of 2022 off strong with more than 10 new store openings, following our aggressive expansion plan.”
Insomnia Cookies has nine locations within Philadelphia, including one location on Penn's campus in Houston Hall. Rising College senior Deniz Gedik frequents the Houston Hall Insomnia Cookies location often.
"If I'm having out with friends late at night and I don't want to go out, but I want dessert, I order Insomnia [Cookies] because we all like their cookies. They have a pretty good reputation," Gedik said. "I like the idea of being able to get food easily to my apartment, and because there is an Insomnia [Cookies] on campus, it takes no time at all."
Recently, Insomnia Cookies expanded beyond its classic storefronts. In 2021, the company opened the CookieLab in South Philadelphia, where they could get real-time feedback on new flavors and product ideas, Berkowitz wrote.
Fourth-year M.D./MPH student EB Messineo is a self-professed “dessert lover” and “enthusiastic fan of Insomnia Cookies.” Messineo visited the CookieLab location and enjoyed watching her “dream dessert cookie” come together in real time.
She appreciated the extra details Insomnia Cookies put into the experience, such as a secret password for entrance and whimsical lighting and design. “It is such a joy to open the door to warm cookies fresh out of the oven,” Messineo said.
Messineo hopes that the company's current and future locations can “contribute in a positive way to the surrounding neighborhood and surrounding community in a way that doesn't just serve transient student populations.”
While Insomnia Cookies opened locations across the United States, including California and Arizona, Philadelphia remains at the heart of Insomnia Cookies.
“Our Philadelphia roots and loyal Philly-based fans have encouraged us to open our highest concentration of stores within the region, making it one of our more mature markets, and the CookieLab is our cherry on top. With such a strong presence in the city, we’re now looking to grow more throughout the entire region,” Berkowitz wrote to the DP.