Cookie junkies can now get their fix in Riverhead.
The couple behind My Cookie Dealer—a bakery that sells cookies primarily through Instagram—opened their first brick and mortar store at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead Friday.
What’s now become a cookie empire all started when Juan Morel, a professional bodybuilder, began posting photos of his wife Karen Morel’s creative cookies on his Instagram page.
“I’m a foodie and I love to eat,” Juan Morel said Friday. “So I started posting [the cookies] and people were losing their minds. I was getting three to 400 DMs from people looking to buy them.”
Before launching their Instagram business, which has amassed more than 292,000 followers, Karen would load up her SUV and sell individually packaged cookies in the parking lot after bodybuilding competitions, which later inspired the name.
“She’d text ‘Hey, I got the cookies,’ and in ten minutes would sell out. It was insane,” Morel recalled.
Today, the cookies are still selling out, albeit on a much larger scale.
Three times a week, they post cookie “drops,” that unlock a limited supply of massive, half-pound cookies in a dizzying array of flavors to their followers. And when they’re gone, they’re gone.
A recent “drop” featured everything from their “OG” chocolate chip to lemon cherry, cotton candy and even a rainbow cookie-stuffed cookie. Within the hour, all 90,000 of the treats were claimed.
“It’s a lot of baking. We have an amazing team,” Morel said, adding that they recently doubled their Nesconset factory space to nearly 5,000 square feet and now employ 50 people.
A fleet of “pushers” make local deliveries on Long Island, but their cookies have been shipped all over the world to Japan, the United Kingdom and Australia.
“We wanted to stay online, but then we saw this opportunity and said ‘Why not?’” Morel said from their new space in Tanger I.
Tanger’s general manager, Lesley Anthony, said this week that she was excited to welcome the Morels.
“They have had amazing success with their Instagram based business,” Anthony said. “We’re so happy that they chose Tanger Outlets Riverhead as their first brick and mortar store. They will be a fun and yummy addition to our shopping center.”
Brightly colored neon signs and ovens to serve the cookies up warm bring their Instagram page to life at the pop-up store, which will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will offer a coffee and espresso menu, fresh lemonade and a rotating menu of cookies, including some that aren’t part of the online shop.
“I’m a people-person, so it’s going to be amazing to see all their expressions,” Morel said. “It’s going to be fun.”