How Many Cookies Can One Campus Eat?

Austin Walker

To some surprise, yet another competitor in the cookie delivery service in RVA has emerged in between the two incumbent stores, Red Eye and Campus Cookies.

Both of the currently operating stores were surprised at the knowledge of new competition, Insomnia Cookies, and have been in contact with each other to try and learn how business may change.

Red Eye Cookies, the first to capitalize on Richmond’s demand for fresh cookies past midnight, had a similar reaction once it was announced that Campus Cookies would split the market for them. This happened back in November of 2014, and less than 5 months later another national chain is staking its claim in Ram territory.

Now, Insomnia Cookies will be opening at a location that’s on the same street as the other two, in between them.

Bach Nguyen, one of the managers at Red Eye cookies who has been employed there for over a year, said “We didn’t know what to expect. Campus cookies was known across Virginia and we had just opened here, so we didn’t know if the public would shift over to them.”

Despite the reputation of the Campus Cookie chain, Red Eye has continued to be a competitor and a frequented location by VCU students. Nguyen asserted that the challenge of their arrival has been met with their “hot-and-ready” cookies, which allow popular items to be bought at the store without an order.

Aside from this, they’ve remained with their previous system that’s worked for them thus far, and haven’t seen a huge impact in business. Red Eye found out about Insomnia through Campus Cookies.

Will the added pressure of a third cookie-stop within sight of Campus Cookies and a two-minute walk of Red Eye prove to be too much?

Nguyen said “I don’t think we’re nervous or anything. Everything’s going to be the same, I don’t think we’re going to change anything. Another cookie company is coming in and it’s a three-way fight so we’re going to keep our standards and everything people love about us now.”

Campus Cookies will likely face a bigger loss of profits once Insomnia Cookies is opened. When standing in front of their store, the purple sign of Insomnia is easily seen across the street. Their businesses also share a common distributor.

Carina Tatelman, a driver at Campus Cookies, found out about the new store in January.

When asked if she felt Red Eye was a problem for business, she said “I feel like we were stepping on their turf – Red Eye – because we came in after them.”

Tatelman recounted a story of when she shared an elevator with a driver from Red Eye Cookies as they delivered to the same apartment complex. They laughed about the new rival store, but there are some larger implications to Insomnia Cookie’s arrival.

“I don’t think our manager is too excited about it,” Tatelman said. “One it’s competition, take away from business. Two, I think they use the same kind of cookies as us, they get them from the same company. We get frozen cookies and then we bake them here, whereas Red Eye has their own formula.”

She assured that Campus Cookies provides a wider selection of flavors and different desserts than Insomnia. If this leg up will be able to compete with Insomnia’s bicycle delivery, only time will tell.

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