Cookie Plug: Baking With a New Recipe in a Crowded Space

Share this:

Last year, the global cookie market generated approximately $40B. That’s a lot of dough! But “oven racks” (number of brands) is growing! Enter Todd Saperstein,  a Phoenix-area franchisee of a relatively new cookie brand, Cookie Plug.  He’s not new to running a franchise brand, having owned five Dickey’s Barbeque Pits in Oregon for ten years.

He wanted a change and selected to invest in the new brand because (in addition to lifestyle reasons) he happens to have a sweet tooth.

Saperstein, a franchise veteran, confirms that owning and running a location (especially a new one) is not for the faint of heart. He says, “Once you put in the work and get it up and running and build a consistently growing customer base, you may be able not to work so much. But it is ongoing.  Even when the store is closed, you are still working.  It is not a 40-hour work week.  It is all day, every day.”

The MULO (multi-location) cookie space is vast and growing. Brands include Crumbl Cookies, Insomnia Cookies, and Mrs. Fields. Newer, scrappier brands include Levain, Chip City and Dirty Dough.

What sets Cookie Plug apart from others is its branding, which is a 1990s hip-hop vibe. Founded in 2019, the company has seen rapid growth, with more than 100 new locations planned in the near future.

Cookie Plug’s management has an interesting “flavor profile.” Chris Wyland was appointed CEO in 2022 (and departed in April 2024). He had extensive franchise experience, including Roll-Em-Up Taquitos, Slim Chickens, Fransmart, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shops, and Fit Body Boot Camp. The company founder, Erik Martinez, has “Chief BMF” as his title and identifies himself on his LinkedIn profile as “Bad Employee.”

Like its competitors, Cookie Plug continuously changes its flavor offerings and offers discounted specials and deals. Team members explain the flavors and provide samples. The franchisor provides marketing help to local franchisees, which (as we’ve reported) is critical to location success.

Although the brand itself is a “wink” to the cannabis industry, the products are not only kid-friendly but include keto, gluten-free and vegan options.

As we’ve reported about Crumbl, a strong customer loyalty program, delivery options, and consumer rewards are critical to success. Cookie Plug seems to check all those boxes.

At the end of the day, tastebuds, proximity, and word-of-mouth (or sweet tooth) will determine success and staying power. But a colorful, unique brand (and commitment to/support of franchisees) certainly doesn’t hurt!

Please join us on November 7th in Chicago at Street Fight LIVE to hear MULO brands, franchises, and the agencies and technologies that support them. We’ll discuss how fast-scaling brands achieve success and how legacy brands survive and thrive. (You may even get a cookie!)



Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.
Previous Post

The Robot in Your Dressing Room

Next Post

Freshpet Sells Food with a Side of CRM