On Tuesday, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Insomnia Cookies bakery yielded a line of sleepless students looking for free sweet treats on a strict, no slippers, no shirt, no service basis– well, unless one argued a case at the register.
The late-night bakery, hosting it's fourth annual PJ party, encouraged Insomniacs across the town to beat the line and be a part of the first hungry few to not only get a free in-store classic cookie but a chance at featured Insomnia prizes and maybe even a bite of the limited time Sour Patch Kids® cookie series.
Despite the location's small size, Matthew Howard, a manager at Insomnia in Athens, has worked to ensure that the college students and townies of the city remain a subject of the franchises' delicious dishes and promotions.
When inquired about the special events comprising Tuesday's PJ party, Matthew said that due to the store's limited space, the bakery will mainly feature up to half-off prices such as their six and 12-count cookie packs.
The event created a perfect opportunity for customers to give an overwhelmed friend, an accommodating professor or parents who are responsible for paying tuition a tasty treat. In addition to the sales occurring Tuesday night, first-comers could expect a fun-filled merchandise giveaway of stickers, hats and more.
Aside from the complementary cookies, arguably the most anticipated aspect of the PJ party is the drop of the limited-time-only Deluxe Filled Ft. Sour Patch Kids and Big Dipper Ft. Sour Patch Kids Bitz cookies. Both the Deluxe Filled– featuring a warm sugar cookie base with a gooey Raspberry center– and the Big Dipper– including a collection of four classic sugar cookies topped with rich buttercream icing and Sour Patch Kids Bitz on top– will be available for individual and pack purchases while products last.
When asked for his opinion regarding the specialty cookies, Howard said "It literally tastes like a Sour Patch Kid. So if you love Sour Patch Kids or any sort of sour candy, I think that you'll enjoy it."
Chocolate lover, Elle Fritts, attended the event despite her mid-week homework load. Fritts, a freshman majoring in psychology, was surprised at how lively the Insomnia workers appeared despite their busy shift.
"They were super nice and friendly…I had so much fun," Fritts said.
Additionally, Cameron Pigg, a freshman studying wildlife conservation biology, was one of the first few Insomniacs inside to receive not only a warm Double Chocolate Chip cookie but a free Insomnia Cookies pop socket. When asked if he had fun, Pigg confidently replied "Yes."
While it is greatly generous of a business to offer their baked goods for free during a nationwide event, it is important to analyze the deeper motives and possible impacts of the particular matter on a local scale. According to Howard, the vision for Insomnia Cookies' PJ Party in Athens is primarily to provide college students with a "fun event" while simultaneously "giving back to the community."
"Even if it's just one free cookie, it's something nice," Howard said. "Especially if someone is stressed out from a long day of classes or things like that."
Furthermore, the PJ party is the most engaging and true-to-brand advertising event for Insomnia's dedication.
"We're Insomnia, we're open late, and we're gonna give you some awesome cookies," Howard said, summarizing the mission of the store.
Ali Wilson, a freshman studying Integrated Language Arts, rocked a baggy T-shirt as she waited for her free Peanut Butter Chip cookie, which she passionately claimed "cured her soul."
Similar to other students, Wilson discovered the event through a friend.
"We were just talking about this thing at Insomnia Cookies, and I heard free cookies and I was like I'm down," Wilson said.
With a smile, Wilson reminisced about the night by reciting the infamous cookie scene from the hit TV show "New Girl." "Gave me cookie, got you cookie," Nick Miller once said.