Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



SAVOR Crumbl franchise co-owner talks about the sweet business of cookies
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3742 times since Thu Sep 7, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

When it comes to success stories in the world of sweets, few companies and brands can compare to Crumbl and its signature pink box.

Started by Jason McGowan (CEO) & Sawyer Hemsley (COO) in 2017 in Utah, the cookie-focused Crumbl—which features a weekly rotating menu of the huge items—has blossomed from a humble store into more than 900 locations nationwide, including more than 30 in Illinois, including several in Chicagoland.

One of those locations is in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood at 1441 N. Wells St., where co-owner Cory Lester weighed in on the chain's almost unparalleled success, among other things.

"My brother [Kevin, who co-owns this Crumbl with his wife, Meredith] and I are originally from Idaho," Lester said. "My brother had been out here for about 10 years but he has a condo in Utah—which is where he was introduced to Crumbl, in Park City. From there, they tried it and thought this would be a great concept to bring to Chicago.

"He called me and asked what I had going on. I had just graduated from Boise State University, and I thought it would be great to get some business experience—but I thought it'd be great to work at a Crumbl first, so I started working at an Idaho location. I worked there for about six months and we decided that we needed one of these in Chicago. My wife and I moved out here and got things started.

"Once we saw the product and the love the customers had for it, [the store] was something we had to do."

Regarding those rotating flavors (of which there are more than 200—six of which are offered each week), Lester said the company designates which ones will be sold. "Corporate comes out with the flavors, so every Monday they do rotate," although they're notified each Friday so they can order the right ingredients, he said. "I think they do a really good job of balancing the flavors—and there's something for everyone. We'll always have chocolate-chip cookie or semi-sweet, but there are usually five rotating ones each week. And guess what? If you don't like something this week, we'll have a brand-new menu for you next week." (As an aside, this writer hopes the chocolate-cake cookie will always be around, too.)

And having chocolate-chip cookies (which happens to be Lester's favorite) around isn't just a nod to its popularity but it's an acknowledgement of Crumbl's beginnings. "The cookies that started Crumbl were chocolate-chip and pink sugar, and we have the iconic pink wall." (By the way, people take Crumbl very seriously, as witnessed by the subreddits devoted to the comings and goings of various flavors.)

Asked what makes Crumbl unique, Lester answered, "It's a great company with a great product, great brand and great message: Sharing cookies can bring people together. Food is a great connector. Also, it caters to everybody."

Of course, the Old Town location (which, like many other Crumbl locations, is fast-casual and devoid of tables/seats) is a prime one, situated in an area full of upwardly mobile millennials. Lester said the busiest times are lunch and "after 5 p.m., when people start getting off work. When they're done with dinner, they want a little treat. Also, during the summer, people from the Chicago sports leagues sometimes create a really big push."

When asked if there are any drawbacks, Lester said there's been at least one: "I wish we were open longer hours," citing the late-night cravings some people have.

But in the meantime, the Lesters are certainly enjoying sweet success.

For more about Crumbl and to order some of its delicious cookies, visit .

Note: This visit was arranged.

More reviews and Chicago restaurant news are at .

This article shared 3742 times since Thu Sep 7, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

SAVOR Prairie Grass' honor, Aviary reservations, 4/20 events
—Congrats!: Northbrook restaurant Prairie Grass Cafe was honored for its Sensory Friendly Hour program at the 18th Annual Disability Matters North America Awards held in Milwaukee on April 4. Victoria's Secret & Co., Walt Disney Imagineering, ...

Gay News

First Queer and BIPOC-owned Illinois cannabis company opens Northalsted dispensary
A small group gathered April 12 at 3340 N. Halsted St. to celebrate the grand opening of a historic new Northalsted business. SWAY, Illinois' first queer and BIPOC-owned cannabis company, marked the opening of its dispensary ...

Gay News

Women & Children First marks its 45th anniversary
By Tatiana Walk-Morris - It has been about 45 years since Ann Christophersen and Linda Bubon co-founded the Women & Children First bookstore in 1979. In its early days, the two were earning their English degrees at the University of ...

Gay News

Big Gay Sal's, pizzeria named after owner's larger-than-life presence, opens in Northalsted
Salvador Mora has always been known for his cheerful smile, warm hugs and big heart, but now it's his pizza that has people talking. Mora co-owns Big Gay Sal's, a late-night pizzeria that opened in March ...

Gay News

Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame seeks nominations for 2024 induction
--From a press release - The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame has announced a call for nominations for the 2024 class of inductees into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. Those wishing to may nominate individuals, organizations, businesses, or "Friends of ...

Gay News

Andersonville Chamber announces Andersonville Midsommarfest entertainment lineup
--From a press release - CHICAGO (April 8, 2024) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up for Andersonville Midsommarfest, one of Chicago's oldest and most beloved summer ...

Gay News

SAVOR James Beard nominees, Krispy Kreme, controversies
SAVOR James Beard nominees, Krispy Kreme, controversies BY ANDREW DAVIS —Congrats!: In D.C., The James Beard Foundation announced the 2024 Restaurant and Chef Award nominees as well as the honorees of the Leadership Awards, Humanitarian of ...

Gay News

SAVOR The casual Italian spot Archive Lounge
Last year, a friend and I visited Chef Steve Chiappetti's Streeterville restaurant The Albert, in Hotel EMC2 (228 E. Ontario St.)—and having dinner at the Italian spot was one of my top culinary experiences of 2023. ...

Gay News

First of LGBTQ+-owned dispensaries set to open in Northalsted
By Tatiana Walk-Morris - Since 1970, 3340 N Halsted St. had been the home of the Townhall Pub, the beloved cash-only dive bar known for its tasty drinks and friendly staff. But after Townhall's former owner William Bucholtz passed away ...

Gay News

SAVOR The Inspired Home Show, Uncle Julio's closes, Malort cocktails
Getting inspired: On March 17-19, The Inspired Home Show—a massive display of current and upcoming products focused on cooking, cleaning, containing and much more—occurred at McCormick Place. Battery-run lawn mowers ...

Gay News

City Lit Executive Artistic Director Brian Pastor talks theater, comics, queerness
City Lit Theater has announced its programming for the 2024-25 season—which will be the company's 44th. It will also be the first season to be programmed under the leadership of Brian Pastor (they/them), who will assume ...

Gay News

Brown Elephant returns to Northalsted
Brown Elephant's Lake View location is moving to Northalsted and already accepting donations. Howard Brown Health, the largest LGBTQ+ health center in the midwest, operates three Brown Elephant resale shops in the Chicagoland area to help ...

Gay News

SAVOR Easter roundup for 2024
Easter is a time to celebrate rebirth, spring, life—and brunches. Chicagoland restaurants will be out in full force on Sunday, March 31, offering Easter meals—some with their own twists (including ...

Gay News

SAVOR WhiskyX, an Easter soiree, a pizza-making class and more
I'll drink to that: On March 21, I was invited to check out dozens of whiskeys, rums, tequilas and other spirits at WhiskyX, which took place at the Chicago venue Morgan MFG and which hundreds of ...

Gay News

Going into a sushi restaurant, I didn't expect to hear a 1920s version of the Carly Rae Jepsen hit "Call Me Maybe" emanating from the speakers. However, that and other Great Gatsby-like flourishes can be found ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.