When Sydney Herring and Michael Carlson opened Crumbl Cookies at the Shops at Norterra in April 2020, they had everything against them. The store was unveiled in the throes of a pandemic and a week and a half after Herring gave birth.
Still, they found success.
“It was crazy,” Herring said with a laugh. “We got through it. That’s all that matters.”
The Utah-based chain boasts its signature warm chocolate chip or chilled sugar cookie. On Mondays, four specialty cookies are introduced via social media as weekly specials. A recent week boasted cinnamon swirl, caramel popcorn, peanut butter bar and molten lava.
Delivery options are available for those near the store. A box of four oversized cookies starts at around $10.
Cookies aren’t necessarily the definition of “essential,” but they’re still crave-worthy. The Glendale resident found that to be true during the pandemic.
“People still wanted their cookies during the pandemic,” Herring added. “As silly as it sounds, it was a bright spot with everything going on. It was something to look forward to.
“They’re sweet treats to drop off to friends. We had a lot of people deliver them to doctors and nurses. They wanted to help out those who were helping during the pandemic. It was really cool to see the community come together. It helps people forget what’s going on for a minute.”
Crumbl was a logical career choice for Herring, who is a lifelong lover of baking. She also loves cookies — but “everyone loves cookies.”
“The thing I love about Crumbl is there’s such a variety,” she said. “We have over 120 flavors and we’re coming out with new flavors all the time. We have such a variety that everyone can find something they like. That was a big draw for me in opening the store. It can appeal to every type of audience.”
Herring hails from Crumbl’s home state, where she attended Utah State University in Logan. She moved to the Valley two and a half years ago to follow her husband who landed a job here.
“It’s very gratifying,” she said. “It’s something I didn’t see myself ever doing. It’s something I loved doing and it brought me out of my comfort zone. It’s good for me.”
Crumbl challenged her to balance her business sensibilities with her family. Herring imagined being home with her two children, but she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“I was terrified to run a business, but it worked out great,” she said. “I really, really love my staff and my employees are the best. We get so many compliments on how friendly the environment is when they walk into our store. The staff is always trying to help the best they can.”
Herring added her staff is so great that they helped a woman announce her pregnancy to her husband.
“We wrote ‘baby’ on top of the cookies and had them delivered to the husband to surprise him,” she said with a laugh. “My staff loves being there and helping out. They love being a part of it and it’s exciting.”
—Executive Editor Christina Fuoco-Karasinski can be reached at
Shops at Norterra
2450 W. Happy Valley Road, Suite 1151, Phoenix