Friday, February 3, 2012

The Secret Cookie Service

I have a fun post for you today.

Have you heard of the Secret Cookie Guy? If you attend or work at UCSD, live in La Jolla, or watched this Fox 5 feature, you may have heard of him.

The Secret Cookie Service
delivers fresh baked homemade cookies to your door.  But it’s not your average delivery. The delivery agent meets you dressed in shades and a suit, and delivers cookies packaged in a “Top Secret” labeled bag. This fairly new late night delivery service has developed quite a following in a very short time. The Facebook page has more than 2,000 likes, they’ve been featured in La Jolla Light, and on Fox 5.

There’s quite a few things that make this delivery service special. First, cookie prices are quite a bargain. They charge $5 for 4 cookies and currently offer 17 different flavors. Delivery charge is an additional $1 for around La Jolla. (They recently started expanding beyond La Jolla, details at end of post.)

Second, they delivery late into the night, from 7pm to 2am Sunday-Thursday and 9pm to 3am on Saturday. (Day deliveries for outside La Jolla and catering available as well.) You can text in your order any time during the day or during the delivery hours to have fresh cookies delivered to your door.

And of course, there’s the CIA-esque mystery surrounding the company. The creator, known as The Secret Cookie Guy, wishes to remain anonymous and never removes his shades when meeting with customers or being interviewed. Recipes, location, and information about the business are kept very top secret.

Here’s a few things I did learn during my cookie drop-off. The creator is a former UCSD graduate student who was in the PH.D chemistry program.  He decided to leave the program, finishing with a Masters. He then came up with the idea for a cookie service, starting with his mom’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe which his family had always encouraged she start a business with.

His initial target audience were UCSD students, a genius idea since there is nothing college students crave more than food from the outside world. But he didn’t just stop there. He also made it a late night delivery service, something that’s almost impossible to find.

But to make it even more interesting, he decided to make his company CIA-esque, with the cookies being delivered by agents in dark glasses and suits, cookies packaged in Top Secret bags. The mystery surrounding his operation has only made him even more popular. Customers buy his Secret Cookie Service sunglasses, dress up like him, and almost always ask to take pictures with him.

While meeting with him, I was impressed with his ideas and organization. He has a customer loyalty program through punch cards. If you “like” the company on Facebook, you get two free cookies. Different deals are offered nightly on his Facebook page.

During my interview, I couldn’t help but notice the Secret Cookie Guy’s svelte frame. How many cookies did he eat on average? He laughed and stated he usually only eats about one a day, maybe a few more if he is testing new recipes, but he thinks 1 or 2 is more than enough cookies and rhetorically stated, who eats more than that? He then proceeded to hand me my fourteen cookies…

So how are the cookies? I sampled seven of the most popular cookies ordered, receiving two of each. And for the sake of “research” of course I had to eat at least one of each flavor.

In general, all the cookies had a soft and chewy texture, with the exception of the pumpkin which was a more cakey cookie. I was impressed that The Secret Cookie Guy managed to maintain the same style and texture for each of his cookies with each of the different flavors. Size-wise, these cookies were perfect. Not too big and not too small. They were the ideal size for you to eat one cookie and feel satisfied. (Unless you have a serious sweet tooth like me, and then you may need a few more.)

While I enjoyed each and every cookie I ate, my favorites were the original chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin.

Chocolate Chip

Chocolate peanut butter chip

Pumpkin chocolate chip

Chocolate chocolate chip

M&M

Oatmeal raisin

Mint chocolate chip

Would I order these cookies again? Definitely yes. They might not have the complexity as some of the cookie recipes I’ve tried on the blog, but I enjoyed these homemade chewy cookies. In fact, I was tempted to order more this entire week before being stopped by the FH. I have a serious weakness for cookies, especially at night. This cookie service is one dangerous discovery.

So, how can you experience The Secret Cookie Service? As I previously mentioned, late night delivery is mainly in the La Jolla/UTC area. However, day deliveries, catering, and delivery outside of the La Jolla area are available as well with a little more advanced notice. Here are the details:

Sun – Thurs from 7 pm – 2 am and Saturdays 9 pm – 3 am we deliver cookies within  approximately 30 mins to 1 hour anywhere on UCSD’s campus or in the La Jolla / UTC area, going as far as the La Jolla Cove / Wind and Sea region or as far south as Governor in UTC. However, we are now expanding into day deliveries, where we are excited to deliver as far north as Encinitas and as far south as downtown San Diego. For these deliveries outside of La Jolla, we do charge a gas surcharge and simply ask customers to order at least a day or more in advance and we will work out a delivery time with them. We want to sell to as many customers as possible and are willing to reasonably work with anyone as long as they want cookies.

To order cookies in the La Jolla area, you can schedule an order ahead of time before 7pm or call between 7pm-2am for immediate delivery within 30 mins – 1 hr. Here’s how to order:
1) Each day at 7pm or 9pm Saturdays, we post on our Facebook Fan Page what 5 or 6 cookie varieties we’re selling for the night (chocolate chip is every night). We also post Top Secret Deals each night.
2) Call or text 727-487-2782 with the following info:
   - How many cookies (Must be in multiples of 2)
   - The Drop Point (Delivery address and time if it’s for a birthday or special event)
   - Your contact number
3) You will receive a text or call in 5 – 10 mins with your CETA (Cookie Estimated Time of Arrival).

*We do offer gift delivery and can readily take any major credit card over the phone.
**We also offer milk cartons for $1.50 (1%, vanilla, or chocolate).
***For day deliveries, please call a day or more in advance.
****For catering events, please obviously call in advance.

Disclosure: I did not pay for the cookies I sampled. Though this was the first time I met him, The Secret Cookie Guy and I share a mutual friend. After seeing his feature on Fox 5 news, I found the video fun and amusing and thought this would be something interesting to share on my blog and as a result, I reached out to him for this interview.

 

24 Responses to “The Secret Cookie Service”

  1. 1

    Catty Critic — February 3, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    I disagree with your statement that one can be satisfied eating just one cookie. I have never eaten just one and been satisfied. I have, however, eaten a box and felt sick afterwards…. ;)

    What a neat idea!! Now I want to start a cookie delivery service up here but have my cat bring a bag to the door. How cute would that be? Kitty Kookie Delivery Service…

    • Kirbie replied: — February 3rd, 2012 @ 10:01 am

      I ate 7 in one sitting, so obviously I disagree with my own statement too. Lol. Yes, Kitty Kookie sounds awesome.

  2. 2

    Ann P. — February 3, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    hahah that is flippin’ amazing!! What an awesome idea :) At Berkeley we had a late-night cookie delivery service called Mrs. Munchies, but it was nowhere near as cool as this!

    • Kirbie replied: — February 3rd, 2012 @ 10:23 am

      I had no late night cookie delivery service back when I was in school. These UCSD kids now have it so good! I went to the campus to take some pictures and I barely recognized it from when I went there as an undergrad. The food court is so big now and they have their own Yogurt World and all these other food spots.

  3. 3

    Cliff — February 3, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    the cookies are amazing!! Love the secret cookie service

    • Kirbie replied: — February 3rd, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      I’m a fan too!

  4. 4

    Manda — February 3, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

    How awesome! I wonder if my cousin’s son at UCSD knows about the Secret Cookie Service.

    • Kirbie replied: — February 3rd, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

      You should ask him! Or tell him about if he doesn’t and he can try it out for himself.

  5. 5

    caninecologne — February 3, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    what a cool concept! i like his look too! (dark suit, shades)…

    all of the cookies look so good, especially the mint chip. i live too far south for deliveries though. :(

    • Kirbie replied: — February 4th, 2012 @ 10:41 am

      Aw, that’s too bad. Maybe they will expand farther south soon. Or perhaps next time you take TC on an eating adventure farther north, you can schedule a delivery with them if you call the day before. I believe the mint cookie has menthe chocolate chips.

  6. 6

    Carol — February 4, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    It’s a good thing he wasn’t around when I was at UCSD cuz uh that’s trouble. I remember seeing something about this on Fox and loved the idea. I’ve also seen another show where they featured a similar idea where the company made these ginormous cookies they delivered to dorms one this one campus (not in CA). But they didn’t have the cool CIA-looking delivery guy.

    • Kirbie replied: — February 4th, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

      I wish he was around when I was at UCSD! Heh. Yeah I really like the secret agent aspect. It makes the delivery service much more unique.

  7. 7

    Judy — February 6, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    Oh Kirbie, I totally applaud your commitment to your craft. Seven cookies in one sitting all in the name of research for your readers!
    Fantastic review and what a great service. I would imagine a few of my friends wanting a side order of ‘cute Secret Service guy’ too with their cookie bag.
    You make me wish I lived in your town.

    • Kirbie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 9:57 am

      Hi Judy! Thanks for taking the note of the sacrifice I made eating all those cookies for research for my readers ;-) Aw, too bad you don’t live in SD.

  8. 8

    Yi-Fang — February 8, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    What an awesome idea :) The shades add another layer of mystery haha ^_^

    • Kirbie replied: — February 8th, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

      It’s kind of amazing how well shades can hide your face. I actually ran into him about a week later when he was dressed in regular clothes and I wasn’t sure if it was him for the longest time because I couldn’t recognize him without the shades

  9. 9

    Jennifer — February 25, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

    Out of curiosity… which chocolate chip cookie recipe that you’ve used (and have posted about on this blog) is the closest to their chocolate chip cookie?

    • Kirbie replied: — February 26th, 2012 @ 9:31 am

      I haven’t made a recipe quite the same as The Secret Cookie Service. And of course his recipe is closely guarded so I couldn’t get it out of him. ;-) But I think the recipe that comes to my mind that I’ve made recently that most closely resembles their cookie texture would be these Nutella chewy cookies. http://kirbiecravings.com/2012/01/chewy-nutella-cookies.html

  10. 10

    Jennifer — February 26, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    Haha, I thought so. :p They do print their ingredients on the back of every order though (enriched bleached flour, eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda, pure cane white sugar, butter, milk chocolate chips) for those with food allergies/sensitivities.

    But thank you! I’ll give your Nutella chewy cookies a try. :)

    • Kirbie replied: — February 26th, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

      Now I’m interested in finding a similar recipe. Though definitely check out the Nutella chewy cookies. It’s pretty similar in texture.

  11. 11

    Jennifer — February 28, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    I will! :D Once I go buy some Nutella… :p

    And I wonder if he uses a sugar cookie base, since he doesn’t list brown sugar as an ingredient… /food for thought

    • Kirbie replied: — February 28th, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

      That is interesting, esp since brown sugar is usually used in chocolate chip cookies. The cookies don’t taste as buttery as typical sugar cookies though. Hmm. It’s been a while since I had them. I need to eat more to properly analyze. =)

  12. 12

    Jennifer — February 28, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    Hahaha I’ll be honest, I made a couple of batches of different kinds of chocolate chip cookies (no brown sugar, an extra egg yolk, honey…) to try and replicate his cookies, but all of them fell short. XD

    • Kirbie replied: — February 29th, 2012 @ 9:00 am

      You must really love his cookies! I hadn’t really thought much about it but now I’m curious to find a similar recipe.

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