How sweet it is: Crumbl Cookies opening in Glen Ellyn

The giant mixers churning dough. The sweet aroma filling the air. The lines of customers snatching up pink boxes.

That's just the way the cookie crumbles at Crumbl Cookies.

The Utah-based company has achieved TikTok fame with oversized, freshly baked cookies and pretty packaging. The photogenic cookies are made with virtually every topping imaginable. By design, Crumbl shops have an open kitchen, so cookie lovers can see the baking operation in action.

"We crack eggs. We soften butter. There's nothing that's done outside of our store," Heather Wardell said.

She and her husband, Brian, are opening the latest suburban location of Crumbl Cookies in a Glen Ellyn strip mall along Roosevelt Road on Friday, Feb. 3. The Wheaton couple has operated a Glendale Heights store since last July.

"We had lines wrapped around our building all opening weekend," Wardell said.

Crumbl Cookies are especially popular with Gen Z. TikTokers post in-depth reviews of the flavors of the week. A new cookie lineup drops on social media at 7 p.m. Central Time on Sundays.

"The rotating menu is like the best idea ever because it keeps you coming back every single week," Wardell said. "And our flavors are so creative and so fun."

Case in point: the cornbread cookie drizzled with honey, an "internet favorite," as the company says. This week's menu features lemon cupcake, french silk pie, peanut butter and caramel cake. Two classics - milk chocolate chip and a pink frosted sugar cookie - stay on the menu week to week.

"We only serve cookies that have been baked within a two-hour window," Wardell said. "When you come into the store and you get a hot box of cookies, those cookies will have been made within the last two hours."

With a career pivot, Wardell wanted to make her corner of the world a little sweeter. She has a degree in finance and worked in banking until she had kids, but baking was always a holiday tradition.

When she discovered Crumbl, Wardell said she fell in love with the "incredibly creative" concept and became a franchisee with her husband, an endodontist, who shares her sweet tooth. Their business is a family affair, with their now-grown children, Tyler and Natalie, both Wheaton North High School graduates, working alongside their parents.

"We always say nobody ever walks into our store having a bad day, and even if you are, you're kind of coming to get cookies to make your day better," Wardell said.

Opening a Crumbl store in neighboring Glen Ellyn "made all the sense in the world," Wardell said. It's located at 709 W. Roosevelt Road, near Trader Joe's and west of I-355.

"I love being a part of the community. I love meeting people. I love talking to everybody," Wardell said. "I want to know them. I want our repeat customers to come in and say, 'How's it going?' I want people to know us by our name and our face. And that's super important to me."

PTAs and other school organizations are some of her repeat customers. In Glen Ellyn, Crumbl will offer delivery, curbside pickup and catering starting Feb. 8. Customers can order four-, six- and 12-pack boxes of cookies. A single cookie goes for around $4.50. But each cookie is a hefty treat, weighing at least 5 ounces.

"They're made to be shared," Wardell said. "Our mission statement is 'bringing friends and family together over the world's best box of cookies.' The whole idea is to get together with other people and share this amazing cookie."

The Glen Ellyn store is opening just in time to share a dessert with your sweetheart on Valentine's Day, one of the busiest holidays for Crumbl. The Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3. Village Manager Mark Franz is expected to be the first customer.

"The community of Glen Ellyn is just amazing," Wardell said. "People are incredibly supportive of each other and of locally owned businesses."

The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Crumbl locations are closed Sundays. But you can start the workweek tasting your way through the menu.

"People come in, they can't wait to try the new flavors. They want to talk to you about the process," Wardell said. "It's just such a happy place that it's hard not to come to work and just be excited to be there."

The Glen Ellyn Crumbl Cookies is "just very accessible and easy to get to," store owner Heather Wardell said. Courtesy of Heather Wardell
Crumbl Cookies stores in Glen Ellyn and Glendale Heights are locally owned and operated by Heather and Brian Wardell, who have two kids, Tyler and Natalie. Courtesy of Heather Wardell
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