Insomnia Cookies opens new location downtown DeKalb


Zulfiqar Ahmed

A photograph of a line of customers waiting to get into Insomnia Cookies during the store’s grand opening PJ party.

DeKALB — Insomnia Cookies hosted its grand opening at the chain’s new location in downtown DeKalb, 203 E. Lincoln Highway, on Saturday. The chain is known for having warm, delicious cookies available late at night and offers a delivery service. 

This is the first location of the chain to open in DeKalb and the 11th location in the state of Illinois, according to the Insomnia Cookies newsroom website. 

Early morning mishaps

Before the official grand opening, a line started to form in the early morning and there seemed to be some confusion about the time that the store was supposed to be open. 

“They were supposed to open at 11 I’m pretty sure,” said Morgan Sikon, a DeKalb resident. “We got here at 10:30, no one was here until 11:40 and then I don’t think we got let into the store until like 12:15.” 

While the Insomnia Cookies Facebook event page listed the opening time as 11 a.m., Matthew Winfield, a new store operations team member for Insomnia Cookies and Brittany Mackie, the store manager for the DeKalb location said that the store would open at noon on Saturday, but conflicting reports caused confusion for customers.

Balloon decorations were staged around a wall with writing that said “warm cookies delivered” and customers were greeted with the scent of cookies being baked upon entering the store. 

For those early risers who waited outside in Illinois winter, the ordering process once inside took upwards of an hour to receive their freshly baked treats. Some customers were familiar with the restaurant chain and expected the long line that stretched out the door. 

“It’s a good experience, it’s always packed though,” said Marlo Cornelius, a DeKalb resident who has been to two previous Insomnia Cookies locations.   

Deluxe and mini cookie items were not available to customers and these seemed to be some of the most anticipated items on the menu. Classic cookies like chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin and other basic flavors were available. Customers could receive a free classic cookie, both in store or delivered, no purchase applied, according to the news release. Staffing issues created difficulties providing free cookies and other menu items during the store’s opening.

“They (Insomnia Cookies) wanted me to be an influencer collab with them so they were giving me a V.I.P box, which I guess is a different assortment of cookies, that was supposed to be ready by 12:45, it’s not ready yet,” said Destiny Deyro, a Naperville resident, who was still waiting at 1:15 p.m. for her order. “There’s no one here but that’s why I came out.”

Saturday night PJ Party

At 8 p.m. the store was packed full of customers and a line had begun to form outside. At one point the line outside wrapped around the corner of Lincoln Highway and down 2nd Street. 

“I am glad I ordered for pickup,” DeKalb resident Ashley Robertson said. “I didn’t have to wait in the cold and when I walked in and asked the guys at the pong table they went right to the back and brought out my order.”

The store hosted a PJ party that began at 8 p.m. Many customers participated by showing up in pajamas and some of the employees had Insomnia Cookies onesies. 

According to the Insomnia Cookies Facebook event page, customers that attended the event in their PJs would receive one free six-pack of classic cookies with any purchase.

Jason Weglarz, a manager at an Insomnia Cookies Chicago location, had a milk pong table set up inside the store where customers had three attempts to shoot their ping pong ball into a solo cup for a chance to win prizes such as insomnia stickers, discount cards, bags, keychains and sunglasses. 

Specialty and fan staples for the foreseeable future

“Chocolate chunk is definitely a classic choice that is a number one favorite, but my favorite is the M&M cookie,” said Weglarz.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Insomnia Cookies will be offering red velvet treats, according to the Insomnia Cookies website. The store also offers a handful of vegan and gluten free cookie options as well.