Student-Run Cookie Company Takes PC By Storm


During exam week in 2017, Brown Bag Cookie Company will successfully have completed its fourth straight semester of cookie sales. The unique cookiesidea, hatched in the fall of 2015 by then-seniors Reid McCandless and Ryan Miller, is one that has “sweetened” exam weeks at PC over the past two years, accompanied by growing popularity and intrigue by students and staff alike. Brown Bag began as a desire to bring a cheerful reprieve to exam-wearied students, many of which spend four to five consecutive days and nights stuck in the library and other academic buildings.

“One of the most common questions we get,” said Will Baird, one of the original founders of the student-run organization, is “how we are able to spend such a large portion of exam nights making and delivering delicious cookies while everyone else is studying.”

Indeed, Brown Bag employees, the number of which ranges from eight to twelve students on any given exam night, generally work non-stop from 8pm-12am.

“It’s a good question”, Baird continued. “Many of us end up either pulling all-nighters or having to wake up early before each test. But just seeing people’s faces light up every night when we walk through the door, it’s all worth it.”

The company also started as a desire to shake up, what one Brown Bag spokesperson called, “an industry [the cookie industry] that’s been stagnant for centuries.”

While the students jokingly exaggerate their drive and vision for the company in true mockumentary style, their devotion to baking sumptuous cookies and delivering them in lightning-fast fashion is anything but. Brown Bag has exclusively sold bourbon (no alcohol involved) and chocolate chip cookies in the past, but have expressed being open to new recipes and flavors. McCandless described their chocolate chips by saying “we have perfected them,” and that they pride themselves in making “the best cookie in the world, no questions asked.”

The organization and detail-driven nature of Brown Bag seems to reflect that devotion. The designated bakers arrive at a central, secret location by 5 p.m. in order to begin kneading dough and putting together their likewise-secret recipe. The rest of the crew, involving “delivery specialists,” an order chief, a delivery director and supplies runners, arrive by 7 p.m. in order to get everything up and running. The division of tasks allows the small group to manage a monumental number of orders each night, delivering fresh cookies and milk everywhere from HP and Jacobs to the townhouses.

Due to their increasing success and popularity, Brown Bag was able to expand their resources and outreach each subsequent semester. In the fall of 2016 they added both a website for online orders, as well as a square reader to enable credit card functionality. Their number of orders practically doubled. If we know anything for sure, it’s clear Brown Bag isn’t going away anytime soon.

As another original founder, and “cookie hype man,” Duncan Gotfredson says, “You miss 100% of the cookies you don’t order.” It seems Presbyterian’s students have taken notice.

–by Will Baird, Celia Mansour, Tracy Johnson, and Jakob Luedtke