Crumbl Cookies' Founders Dish On The Chain's Viral Success - Exclusive Interview

What does it take to become the fastest-growing franchise in the country? Apparently, the answer is delicious cookies, an eye for TikTok, and a cute pink box. That's what the founders of Crumbl Cookies have seemingly figured out. Four years ago they set out to pursue a sweet side hustle, without any experience whatsoever. From the moment they mixed their first cup of flour, they've been learning along the way, and making things up as they go. And clearly, it is paying off big time. The company has opened up more than 250 locations around the country, aided by the hype of millions of social media followers, with no plans to slow down.

So what's the secret to Crumbl's viral success, other than their over-the-top and indulgent creations, of course? We went straight to the source to find out how this cookie crumbles. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Crumbl Cookies' founders, Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley, opened up about how the cookie company came to be — including all the baking mishaps that occurred along the way, plus the story behind the iconic pink box — and what sets them apart from the competition. The two also revealed some more delectable details about how Crumbl's cookie creations come to life, and even shared some of their own tried and true baking tips they've picked up in the process.

Crumbl Cookies' founders on celebrating the chain's 4th birthday

This is a really exciting time for you guys right now, having just celebrated Crumbl's fourth birthday. Talk a little bit more about the promotions and all the things that you guys did to celebrate.

Jason McGowan: Yeah, you bet. So our fourth birthday, we just are super excited. So we've come a long way and we've gone from one store in Logan, Utah to almost 270 stores today. We were really celebrating what we call ... It was, "For you." And what does that mean? And it means Crumbl's for birthdays, it's for saying sorry, it's for all those things-

Sawyer Hemsley: Cheat day, cheat night.

McGowan: Yeah cheat day, yes. And as we have gone through it, our mission at Crumbl is to bring friends and families together over the best box of cookies. And so more than just how awesome the cookies are, the experiences, it's really about bringing people together. And so that's really what our main celebration was. It was about people and bringing them together and having them be a part of our journey.

Hemsley: Yeah, for sure. And we did a lot of other fun, unique giveaways, and we actually went live together on TikToK and built a two-tier cookie cake. And so it was just fun. We made a huge company-wide TikTok video, that was a trend that was going viral.

You guys also rolled out a special cookie lineup. There was a brand new flavor that was released. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Hemsley: So every birthday, we always have a brand new flavor which is our birthday flavor. And that this year was our funfetti milkshake. It's super fun. It had sprinkles around the outer rim of the sugar base and then a light frosting with a dollop of cream. And it tastes exactly like a funfetti milkshake. But to even top that off, we added three new flavors and we've never done a complete lineup of brand new flavors. And so it was super fun. And it was a historical moment for us during this fourth birthday.

So how long is the funfetti milkshake cookie going to stay on the menu?

Hemsley: That's a good question. We always rotate our cookies periodically. Typically, cookies only come out on the calendar once or twice a year, because that's how many flavors we have. We have about 170 plus flavors. So it'll come around, but probably next year.

McGowan: Yeah. And to give you an idea of our concept ...we do a new menu every single week. Well, we do a weekly drop of our flavors. We all have our heightened marketing around it. We've coined this term about hype marketing. We just say, "You know what, we're going to drop four flavors. You can only get them for that week and if you miss out, you don't know when they're going to come back." So we don't tell you anything. So for the birthday week last week, you can come and try these four new flavors. So like Sawyer said the milkshake one plus the three other ones. So there's all 40 flavors and no one knows other than us when those new flavors will come out.

Hemsley: It's like Christmas Eve, when you're waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney. But you're really waiting for Crumbl's new lineup.

Crumbl Cookies' founders on how it all started

How and why did you start a cookie company? When one of you was in college no less?

McGowan: Yeah. Sawyer was in college. I was working at another company and we were just like, "Let's do something really fun and cool together." We want to do a business. I love technology, Sawyer loved branding and all these other things. And but we both loved cookies and we both loved baking. We're cousins and so our families have loved baking and stuff growing up. And so we're like, "Let's just do something really cool and we're going to do cookies." When we got started, we didn't know anything about baking. So we didn't even know how to mix properly, we didn't own any recipes. And we started buying the equipment for the store and you should not do this in business, by the way.

Were you just like, "It'll be easy. It's fine. We'll figure it out."?

McGowan: Yeah. We're like, "Oh that's the easy part." We were worried about getting the oven in there properly, getting all the equipment in, and getting up the building. And so we started doing it and they were like, "Whoa, we got to come up with a cookie."

Hemsley: We have to have a product in a service. And we didn't have one, so...

McGowan: And when we had our first cookie, we baked it and it was like a pancake, a huge, flat ... And we looked at each other and we're like, "Oh my goodness, this is not good."

Wait, so neither one of you had a lick of baking experience?

Hemsley: Just growing up in the home ... The family home and being alongside grandma or mom but never experience outside of the home.

McGowan: Yeah, so that's what we got going and then we actually ended up hiring some people to help us like, "Hey, how do you actually mix? How do you bake properly? How do you do all these different things?" And when we first opened our first location, we only had one cookie, it was chocolate chip because that's all we had time to perfect. But when we go out and do something, we like to say, "How can we make the best of something?" And so we take this cookie and we go to different places and we just have them test them. And then we say, "Okay, we changed one ingredient on this, do a taste test, which cookie do you like better?" And so we like to say we taste-tested our way to the best chocolate chip cookie in the world.

Crumbl Cookies' founders discuss how they learned along the way

Hemsley: And really, we set out with the goal of becoming masters of cookies. So like Jason said, we wanted to learn and engulf all the information we could to be able to perfect this cookie because we also knew that anyone can make cookies at home. You can make cookies in your kitchen, right? Or you can go to the nearest grocery store and buy pre-made dough. So, we knew that our business would not be successful if we didn't nail and perfect the chocolate chip cookie.

McGowan: And I think after that ... after we got the first cookie going and we were figuring that out, we're like, "We need to continue to expand our menu and grow it and do something just even more awesome." So we started getting other cookies that were on the menu. But I think where they got exciting is when we were like, "You know what, our cookies look and tasted great, like everyone else's, but how do we make it to a whole different level?" And I think we just ... Sawyer and his team and everyone just started working on all these different unique flavors, whether you get waffle, with syrup on top of the cookie, and just all these extremely fun flavors that really resonated with people on TikTok and all things like that. But I think that was the moment we said, "Hey, we're going to just do something. We've done what the industry's done ... What does it mean to be a cookie business, to be the category leader, to really set us apart from everyone else?"

Hemsley: But to be honest, circling back, we didn't ever anticipate Crumbl being our career.

McGowan: No, neither one of us.

Hemsley: I was in my last year of college, Jason was in his full-time career in technology and this was a side hustle. We never anticipated having 2, 3, 4 stores. But originally, my mom was supposed to be involved to help us out while we were doing our job and I was going to college, but she's like, "No, I want to stay home with the grandkids." And so we ended up just moving on without her, we opened the first store. She then realized how popular the cookies were and how successful the first store was and then she came back and said, "I want to be involved. How can I be more involved?" And so that's when we really started to explore growing our concept. That's when Jason told me he's going to leave his job. I was going to graduate college and not pursue my internship in Arizona. And my parents actually opened up the first franchise and that's how it all started the growth.

McGowan: Yeah. And our family ... My family was like, "You're crazy. No one's going to buy cookies like this." Sawyer's boss was like, "You're crazy to throw your career away in marketing and all these different things. You're absolutely crazy, it's never going to work." And then we're like, "Oh boy, is this actually going to work? Is this going to work?" But we just both went for it and we said, "You know what? We believe in it, and it's something that's special and we love it."

Hemsley: But when we say we went for it, we really went for it. We truly believed in the concept. We truly thought we had the best chocolate chip recipe that was out there and we were confident in ourselves. And that's what it took for our partnership to continue to move forward.

Why we all can't help but love cookies, according to Crumbl Cookies' founders

Today's world is super health-conscious when it comes to food trends. You've got salad chains and fro-yo chains. What do you think is behind this seemingly growing demand for cookies and what made you confident that this was going to work?

Hemsley: So I love this question because a lot of people ask us this ... cookies are a nostalgic product or food item that everybody grows up with. I know at least in our homes, we made cookies twice a week, at least every Sunday, right? And we also believe that cookies are an easy consumable item. You can eat two or three in one sitting, whereas a rich brownie or a huge cinnamon roll, you don't ... You take a couple of bites and you're done, but everybody loves cookies and everybody will continue to love cookies. And yes, the world is more health-conscious. I love to be healthy as well but we want ... that indulgence when you have that cheat day or that gift that you want to give to the neighbor, or if you're having a wedding, there's always dessert, we want to be there. So that's where we see the sustainability within the business and in the cookie world.

McGowan: And I think life is about balance, right? You want to eat healthy, but also like you said, you want to have a day of indulgence for all kinds of things in life. But life is about balance and when you're on the balance of the desserts, we're there for you.

And something we've definitely seen across the board in the last two years is just this increasing return to nostalgic stuff in general, perhaps because of the pandemic? You've seen these childhood snacks get more popular and just people returning to these comforts.

Hemsley: Right.

Do you guys think that's had an impact on your business as well?

McGowan: Absolutely. I think during COVID time, our business has boomed for sure, right? And it was very successful even before COVID. So even before COVID, we still saw lots of great signs, but I think one of the concerns that all businesses have when COVID hit was, what does that mean for us? How are we going to survive? What services do we have to build and technology do we have to build? More importantly, what do we have to provide our customers? And it's been so far really well, so ...

Hemsley: But I think it goes back to our mission statement of bringing families and friends together because our cookies are big. They're not your average size cookie.

McGowan: They're shareable.

Hemsley: And during the pandemic and even before, our cookies are meant to be cut in fours or into eighths and you bring your friends together and you're taste-testing those new flavors that are out that week, and you're sharing your thoughts and your feedback, or you're jumping on TikTok and leaving a rating review. And so that's what I think is really interesting about cookies is it's a talking piece. It's an event, it's not just a food that you're consuming to fulfill a need.

McGowan: Yeah, and there's always. Once a week ... we always like to say the "once a week," it's not only for the cookies that we dropped that week, but you should be getting together with friends or family once a week, right? So tasting weekly is a big part of that experience and bringing all those people together.

What's behind the rapid success of Crumbl Cookies

Crumbl is the fastest-growing franchise in the country. That's huge. The way you guys have blown up is stunning. What do you think is behind this? What's the secret to your success?

McGowan: Obviously, of course, you have to have the best product. Everyone will say that but it's true. You have to have something that tastes great and is great, but I think the other big secret to our success is how we've been able to grow and scale through technology as well. So we have a lot of systems in place to be able to handle ... When you do a weekly rotating menu, you have to have all new recipes, right? And so being able to not be able to print them off and send them off by hand but being able to handle that way. So we really set out at the very beginning, and as we continued to grow and we realized this was going to be a big thing, we built processes and technologies that helped us to prep, to get ready to scale really quickly. 

How do you open up 20 stores in one week with training, right? And how do you market 20 stores? So all of our processes, whether it's marketing or technology or those things, we thought about it differently. Once we knew that, "Hey, this could be big." We started thinking about decisions of how do we do this when we have a hundred stores or a thousand stores instead of how do we solve this problem for tomorrow? It's how do we solve this problem for the future? I think that's been one of our secrets to success is really thinking through the future and looking about how to scale that. But there's tons more as well.

Hemsley: I would say so in simple terms, like Jason said, we're not just a bakery, we're a tech-driven bakery and that's very appealing to a lot of customers and also partners that want to be involved to help us grow this business. We've never actively sold a franchise. Everyone's come to us because they're excited about the brand, they love the product, they love the energy. It's often said that Crumbl is the Apple store of cookies. Or the Chick-fil-A of cookies, because of the experience. When you walk into a store, what's unique about Crumbl is we make our cookies fresh in real time. We're not just a New York bakery that has a display case with cookies in it that you say, "I want that one," and then you hand it over to the customer. They see us cracking the eggs, measuring out the ingredients, turning on the big mixers, balling the dough, putting it in the oven. And the experience is what really excites people, customers, and franchise partners alike to be involved, right?

McGowan: We hear that all the time. I was in the store this week and I was cracking eggs and I was thinking, "This is time-consuming to crack these eggs." But it's important, right? From being fresh, from seeing the experience and all those things. So like you said, it's a great in-store experience and it's purposely that way. So being able to feel different when you come into our store than any other stores. It's been fun to watch people coming in and ...They're almost shocked like, "Whoa, this is so clean. Is this a technology store or a bakery store? Whoa, there's a person right there with sugar on the counter and all these things." 

It's almost so different that it's just confusing at first. It's just that experience of what you provide people. There's always a good saying, people don't always know what you said but they will remember how you feel. And people may not remember what they ordered that week in Crumbl or what they tasted that week but they'll remember how they felt when they came into that store. And we're constantly thinking about that experience from customer service, how we welcome the guests, how they feel when they're in the stores. So I think crucial to that has been the store experience.

Hemsley: But also, it's the brand. Our box is very unique, it's different, it's better, it's special and it's Instagrammable. We live in an Instagram world that people want to show what they're doing.

Crumbl Cookies' founders reveal the story behind the iconic, Instagrammable pink box

How long did it take you guys to come up with your famous pink box? What's the story behind it?

Hemsley: Yeah. So I went to Utah State, I was in college. And so we opened our first store and the business school in that college was having what they call the case competition. And so they utilized Crumbl as a case competition to design various different boxes. And so we actually took the box design from students and we picked the one that we liked the best and they told us all the science behind laying out the cookies horizontally and the experience it would provide for our customers.

McGowan: Yeah, and we knew right away. So there were 20 different concepts. They looked like ovens, they looked like whatever. And I remember just off in the distance, you saw this box and it was just rectangular. And I'm like, "Whoa that just..."

Hemsley: [It] Almost looked like a flower box.

McGowan: It looked like a flower box and [we're] like, "Ooh. How you feel when you open it." And again those types of feelings and things that we're really into. And we're like, "That's different, that's special." And so we took it and we, of course, gave them money and stuff for this competition and we made it a really fun thing, but that's how it was born. And we tailored it towards mass producing and stuff. It wasn't exactly how it was there but it was pretty close.

Hemsley: But I would say it took us about what? Three months into the business to finally find the right box. We used to just use cake boxes ... and these really ugly boxes.

McGowan: Whatever we could find because we were so busy, yeah.

Hemsley: But I felt like once we found the box, it really elevated the brand and it gave us a sense of direction and the box really is the brand. When you see the pink box in the airport or in the park, you know it's Crumbl. And so a lot of our competitors and a lot of people in the industry are now trying to mimic that elongated horizontal style. And so we honestly feel like we are innovators in the market and the industry.

McGowan: Yeah. And I think that's been a great experience for us as we've grown our business. It was a good learning experience. How could something as simple as a box really make that big of a difference, from who you are and how you differentiate? And so it makes us think about every detail. It's like, "How's the swirl on the cookie?" Right? "How are things placed in the cookie that makes people feel a certain way or that makes people want to take a picture of it and post it to TikTok?" Right? And so all those thoughts and the way we think, I think is a lot different. A lot of businesses come up and they say, "Okay, here's our product and we've got this head chef from this one place and we're going to give it over to you." We involve the customers in the community. We can actually look on TikTok and they come up with ideas and we're like, "That's a great idea." So we work and we leverage a lot of what they do and what they say and what the community says. And it's actually, I don't know we're almost integrated. It's almost simply like, "Here's what we do." Posted on TikTok, it's ingrained in us.

Hemsley: It's true. I mean, our internal motto has been, "It's all about the details." And going back to the box ... After the case competition and the university students, we had our top three favorite designs and we allowed our customers to vote on what they liked. So like he's saying, our customers really drive our decision-making.

Crumbl Cookies' founders on how TikTok helped make the chain so popular

You guys talked about how having the systems and the technology and the infrastructure in place has been such a massive reason why you've been able to grow at the rate that you have. But maintaining demand that matches the growth is also a key part of that. We'd love to hear you expand more on that strategy and how a cookie company has managed to gain more than 2 million followers on TikTok.

McGowan: One thing we do is you engage the communities that you're with, you don't talk to the communities that you're with. And let me give you some examples on different platforms, okay? So TikTok is one of them. We all of the sudden launched on TikTok. We said, "Okay, we're not going to treat TikTok as the fifth social network and post the same content." Right? So TikTok comes online, we realize it's starting to get busy and we're like, "We're going to jump in on TikTok." So we go through TikTok and we noticed that customers started posting reviews and it's like, "I'm going to rate this six out of 10 or 10 out of 10 or 11 out of 10 or 1,000 out of 10." Right? So what we did is we said, "Okay, hey let's leverage that. Let's start promoting that, start owning the hashtags around that." And it came from the community but we leveraged that and started talking, creating weekly videos where we are rating or people rating those cookies and making the trend. 

So, instead of kicking against the grain or that thing. You've seen companies like Facebook where they've learned about how to build tagging features from how the photos were first created, things like that as they engage with the community. So I think that was one on TikTok. How we designed the feed on Instagram, right? How we put the different posts on there and people wanting to have it in their photos. Sawyer came up with that great idea and making sure things are positioned a certain way. Because how Instagram feels and how you want your feed to look is important to you on Instagram. Then Facebook ... There's a lot of examples there but I think engaging the audience and working with the audience and feeling the pulse of the audiences on the different platforms versus just trying to speak to them and try to market to them.

Hemsley: And I think our customers have played a huge role in allowing us to grow because when a new store pops up in an area or we announce it, our customers are tagging all their friends that live in the area.

McGowan: They're our ambassadors.

Hemsley: And so they're almost like our marketers or influencers for the brand and the product. And other people have seen them post reviews and they're like, "I need to go try that because I've seen my friend in this other state or this other city post about this cookie and I need to go myself and experience it."

McGowan: Yup, and we respond back to people. So when people comment to us, DM us, we invest in teams and people and we talk to them and we realize we're building relationships. Sometimes people think, "Oh, it's a one-off or it's a couple customers." We care about customers, we talk to them, we listen to them and we actually communicate with them on the platform and people recognize that and see that and it makes them want to do it more, which builds up engagement, all those other things.

Crumbl Cookies' founders discuss using social media over traditional marketing

It feels like this is inevitably the future of where marketing and advertising is going. Was this something that you guys went into knowing like, "This is going to be our winning strategy," or was this more organic like, "Hey, this is working for us. This is happening ..."?

McGowan: Yeah, more of the latter, more of the organic, right? It's just us learning along the way ... But once we see those opportunities, jumping on them.

Hemsley: And I think what makes Crumbl unique is we're not afraid to pivot, we're not afraid to adapt. We're very agile, whereas other companies may not be. They're more stuck in their ways or more traditional-type marketing but we're all about, "Let's go hard. If we fall, we fall and let's circle back and do something else."

McGowan: But I think we definitely are one of the few companies who have really truly engaged with social media, whether it's our marketing spend or whether it's how we communicate the number of people we have on our teams to actually engage with them. So we've learned again early on from social media. And we've really tried to be the leaders in that and saying, "How do you leverage social media? How do you bring customers into it?" And so I think, we've tried to be the thought leader in that industry. People don't realize that we don't do any TV advertising at all. The fastest-growing brand, sales at stores are phenomenal and we do zero ... I've done zero advertising on television to this point. We don't do newspaper ads and all these other things. We've tested out little things here and there throughout the time but we've really dove in [on social media] and tried to be like, "Let's own this space and let's just make it something huge." And so far, it's panned out perfectly.

Crumbl Cookies' founders explain the chain's rotating menu

So what is the strategy behind the rotating cookie menu? Is it just logistical so you can get all those flavors in or was there more of a strategy behind that?

McGowan: Yeah, there's definitely more of a strategy. I think Sawyer can talk more about the strategy of the cookies but logistically, it's way easier if we don't do that. It's a lot of work to actually create a new menu every single week.

Hemsley: With the supply chain — even these days with COVID and the difficulty there — it's very taxing on our brand to have to keep up with all the new ingredients weekly, right? But the reason we came out with a weekly draw is because we used to do eight to nine different flavors and we couldn't keep up because our stores were so busy. The volume was so high and we were not having the best experience because we kept running out and customers were upset, so we met together and we said, "We need to think of something else." And so we said, "Let's just choose four flavors that rotate out every week that keep people excited, coming back for more." And that's what we've done ever since our very first franchise and it's been to our advantage because it keeps people hungry and excited and that anticipation is super high, right?

McGowan: So I think it's like everything else we do and like Sawyer said, we fell into it but once we realize and we see the signal from it, we go all in, right? We create full-on marketing videos every single week. We have technology for training every single week. We have supply chain teams that work for every single week. So literally, the entire business revolves around these weekly drops and that was something that was born out of a necessity from an experience. But once we realized it worked so well, we decided to own it and go big with it.

Hemsley: Yeah. And so we have four rotating flavors every week but then we have two classics, our chocolate chip and our classic sugar cookie, in case people may not like those four specialty flavors that week. But how we design our cookies — they're high-end, they're gourmet. We use the highest quality ingredients out there and we find our inspiration through cupcakes, cakes, hard candies, candy bars, you name it, we're going to try to make it into a cookie. And that's exciting for our customers and we really try to find those flavors or those profiles that are nostalgic to people that they once grew up on, right?

Crumbl Cookies' founders explain how their cookies are created

What is the creative process? Do you guys get to sit in a room together and just eat candy and talk about what ... How do you come up with that?

McGowan: It is like that a little bit, yeah. It is. We have a full R&D team that goes and prepares and brings up cookies and brings them to Sawyer and sometimes I'm in those meetings as well. But Sawyer's sitting, spending a lot of time, too, thinking about those things like nostalgia. Like, "What is this going to bring you back from a memory?" Because it's about how you feel when you eat those cookies. But yeah, every day. Sawyer's good though, he's still super fit but he tastes just slivers but he does a really good job with it so...

Hemsley: Yeah, so we sometimes bring in ice cream like Jason said, Christmas treats, muffins, breads. And then we use those and try to mimic the exact profile in a cookie form. And so it's just a blast and we also get millions of requests or recommendations or suggestions [from social media].

Have you guys had recommendations from your followers that have made it onto the menu?

Absolutely, all the time.

The best flavors at Crumbl Cookies, according to the founders

Is the chocolate chip still the best-selling cookie flavor to this day for you guys?

McGowan: It is, yeah. By far and away, it's our number one. But every once in a while, we have weeks where a new flavor pops in and it beats chocolate chip. It makes chocolate chip a little nervous.

Hemsley: Like this past week when we ran churro, which I always think that our churro's better than Disneyland's churro, but it beat out chocolate chip, which is very rare like Jason said.

What are y'all's favorite flavors?

Hemsley: That's a good question.

Surely, you had an answer prepared for this.

Hemsley: Oh yeah. They ask us all the time.

McGowan: So I love the brownie batter. What's funny though, is because I always want to be authentic, it's always changing because we have so many flavors that come out. And so recently, brownie batter came out and it was so good. The top of it looked like brownies coming out of an oven. So when you touched it, it just crinkles a little bit. It was fudgy, it was good. So brownie batter and chocolate chip are my favorite right now.

Hemsley: I always loved the classics, chocolate chip. But I grew up on cornbread, I'm from a small town in Idaho and I love our cornbread cookie. Have you ever heard of a cornbread cookie? I love cornbread. I love the Kentucky butter cake that we have. All the flavors are good.

McGowan: What's amazing though, is even our old fashioned donut, you'd be like, "Okay, I wonder what it's going to taste like in cookie format." It tastes like an old fashioned donut, but even better. It's hard to explain unless you taste it, but they do such a good job, the R&D team and everyone, just to really come up with these unique flavor profiles that are just great.

Hemsley: And something else unique about how we develop our cookies is we actually ... we have 20 plus testing sites across the nation. And so once we approve a cookie, our research and development team, we send that recipe out to these testing sites, and then we actually get real-time customer feedback through a survey and they tell us if they like the cookie, if they would refer it to a friend, if they think it should be on the menu. So again, that's us just developing around our customers and receiving that feedback. So we're actually putting cookies on the menu that are one, going to sell and two, they're going to be well-received.

McGowan: And it also helps us with little nuances and training as well. So we can say, "Oh, this part was hard to make in this cookie. How can we refine it, make it better?" So you learn at scale too on how to really better train 12,000 bakers how to make cookies.

Crumbl Cookies' founders reveal the worst cookie flavors they've attempted

You guys have said that when you were in the process of coming up with your product, creating this company, that you had a lot of baking mishaps before you got to the right cookie. So can you tell us some of the worst cookie combos you came up with?

Hemsley: Everybody makes fun of one cookie. It used to be our wifi password but it was Maple Bacon, right? You can either do a really good job with anything bacon, or you can do a really bad job. And we feel like we did maybe a bad/mediocre job.

McGowan: But we can still do a good job. I think we should try to bring it out one day.

It sounds like it would work in theory so ...

Hemsley: Yeah, and that was earlier on. I think our processes and our team has developed over time. So we definitely want to try it again but I would say maple bacon.

McGowan: We had lavender. I feel like it was still good but it didn't sell that well. So we had a lavender cookie, we went out there ...

Hemsley: We also tried savory, we wanted to push our buttons here, but we tried a hot Cheeto lime cookie once.

Oh my gosh!

Hemsley: It never made it to the menu though, okay? Thank goodness.

McGowan: Probably super popular though when we go to other countries and stuff like that.

Crumbl Cookie's founders say this is most important when it comes to baking cookies

So now that you guys are the experts in baking mistakes, what are some of the biggest mistakes that we should all be avoiding when we're baking cookies?

Hemsley: I think there's a lot of mistakes that can be made, but it's also how you like your cookies baked or prepared. I almost refer oftentimes to meat. People like it differently. Medium rare, well-done. Some people like their cookies soft, overly crispy. And it's science, right? So I think the most important thing is what you do with your butter, whether you soften it, cut it in cubes, put it in cold, will affect the outcome of your bake. And then also how much you whip your butter and sugar together, whether it's overly whipped and light and fluffy or not as whipped, those will affect your bake. So I think it all starts with that very basic butter and mixing process.

McGowan: Yeah, I think in addition to that, it's just you got to try things, right? Baking is a fun process, right? You've got your basic core things like Sawyer was talking about, but when you're wanting to try different toppings or try different things, if you want to do something new, try something new, right? And don't be afraid to experiment and try things out and you'll figure out what works for you and what tastes good and what's great. So I think experimenting is a big part of the baking experience.

Hemsley: I agree. And just a side note, when we first started out, we made so many mistakes that I feel like it made ... It forced us to be masters of the craft. We didn't know we needed to use parchment paper on the pan or we didn't know we needed to maybe whip our butter long enough or scrape the bowl or get underneath the paddle. So all these failures actually resulted in our success.

McGowan: And we started this in our home kitchens and you would come up with something that might work. And then we went to a commercial [kitchen], got all the commercial equipment and we put our ingredients in and we were so excited and we went and we turned on the mixer. It doesn't even touch the ingredients. It's because there's such a gap between the bowl. That's how much we didn't know what we were doing, right? And so we're like, "Oh wow. So it's different when you're doing larger volumes and those things."

You really did not have a clue.

McGowan: Yeah, we did not have a clue at all. No idea.

Hemsley: Lots of mistakes but it was worth it. I don't think we would have changed anything if we were to go back. I think I loved all those mistakes.

And now you have the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie.

Hemsley: Absolutely.

Tips for making perfect chocolate chip cookies every time, according to Crumbl Cookies' founders

Obviously, you're not going to give us the recipe, but do you have any tips for home bakers for making the perfect chocolate chip cookie? What are the tricks to keep in mind?

Hemsley: Yeah, I would say to always scrape. When in doubt, scrape it out. That's our motto at Crumbl. And always make sure that you don't over mix your dough at the end because that can make your cookies dense. And a secret ... I think we can probably say this: Don't wait until the end to add your chocolate chips. Add your chocolate chips a couple seconds after you start mixing your flour, then add your chocolate chips. And then finish your mix.

McGowan: So we sort of let that one cat out of the bag, so that's good.

New flavors to look out for at Crumbl Cookies

Do you have any other upcoming promotions or new flavors coming up or anything else that you guys want to let our readers know about?

Hemsley: We are doing a fun trick or treat week prior to Halloween, so if anyone is close to a store that has children or even adults that want to come in, we are doing all of our flavors based on what you would typically find at the doorstep during Halloween night. So there's going to be lots of fun unique flavors and we're calling it trick or treat week at Crumbl.

McGowan: And we started in Logan, Utah. And so for next week's flavor, there's one hint. We started off in Logan, Utah and we're going to pay tribute and homage to the place that we started off with the cookie flavor.

You can find your nearest location on the Crumbl website, and keep up with the viral cookie company by following them on TikTok