I visited Chip City and could see why the franchise backed by Shake Shack’s founder is rapidly expanding to new cities – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

I visited Chip City and could see why the franchise backed by Shake Shack’s founder is rapidly expanding to new cities

I went to Chip City in Astoria, Queens, to see why the cookie chain is popular.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

Chip City has a goal to open 40 locations by the end of the year.The cookie chain is known for its unique and seasonal flavors.I visited the flagship location in Astoria, Queens. 

Chip City recently opened locations in Miami Beach, Florida, and Fairfield, Connecticut, and is rapidly expanding to new cities.

The cookie chain, known for its unique and seasonal flavors from peanut butter and jelly to pumpkin spice latte, was founded in 2017 by Peter Phillips and Teddy Gailas.

The founders had humble expectations for the business. “Our original business plan was to sell 100 cookies a day,” CEO Phillips told The Food Institute. “We got some good press, and things really took off from there.”

Then in 2022, Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer and his investment firm, Enlightened Hospitality Investments, poured $10 million in Chip City to help the company open more locations. “At EHI, we are always looking for businesses that have created craveable products and have earned a tribe-like following,” Meyer said in a press release.

Chip City currently has 23 locations, and Phillips told Nation’s Restaurant News that the company plans to have 40 locations by the end of the year. Most of the chain’s locations are in the tristate area, with 14 stores in three boroughs of New York City, four stores on Long Island, three stores in New Jersey, and one store in Connecticut.

Chip is using a similar business approach to cookie franchise Crumbl by planting stores in the right locations, offering novelty flavors on rotation, and drumming up excitement on social media. Crumbl is much larger in comparison, with 800 store locations, though Chip is showing that perhaps slow and steady wins the race.

I visited the Astoria, Queens, flagship store to see why the cookie chain is so popular. Full disclosure: I live in the neighborhood, so it wasn’t my first time.

I went to the shop on a sunny Monday afternoon.
It’s a small store, but the branding on the outside makes it hard to miss.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins

The store is located at 30-06 34th Street and is just around the corner from 30th Avenue, a busy street where locals dine and shop for produce. On weekends, there can be a line out the door of customers eager to get their hands on one of the store’s weekly flavors.

This location is the type where you grab and go.
Outside the shop there’s a counter and a couple of stools for customers who want to eat their cookies right away.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

The storefront is small — about 250 square feet — so most people just order their cookies to go. There is a small wooden counter and a couple of stools outside where customers can eat if they’d like, but I don’t usually see people hanging around.

The staff was friendly.
An employee welcomed me into the store and placed my cookies in a box.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

Inside, the space is warm and inviting, with wood paneling and brightly colored signs to denote that this is your neighborhood bakery.

The Chip City employee operating the store was nice and welcomed me when I walked in. I also briefly met the store owner, Louie Ermogenous, who was excited to tell me about the Florida and Connecticut openings.

The menu changes often, so there’s always a reason to stop in.
Individual cookies cost $4.75 each before tax.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

Chip City has a few mainstay flavors, like its chocolate chip and confetti cookies. It also rotates new flavors into its menu every week. Regular flavors, like s’mores or Nutella sea salt, are rotated throughout the year, while seasonal flavors, like horchata or hot honey cornbread, are available for a limited time.

On this day, there were 5 flavors on the menu.
The cookies are displayed under lamps to keep them warm.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

The flavors available were milk chocolate chip, confetti, chocolate peanut butter, white chocolate cranberry oat, and pumpkin spice latte.

I ordered 2 chocolate chip cookies and one confetti cookie.
I bought two chocolate chip cookies and one confetti cookie.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

The cookies are pretty large — smaller than Crumbl’s but bigger than Insomnia’s.

Chip City also sells coffee, lattes, hot chocolate, milk, and non-dairy milks to go with the cookies. Some locations also sell ice cream.

The chocolate chip cookie is pretty good …
The cookies are large and each contains four servings.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

The chocolate chip cookie isn’t my favorite, but it’s a solid option. I’m partial to thinner cookies that are perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy inside. This one is a little more crunchy with a soft, but not chewy, inside.

The cookies are rich, and I never eat a full cookie in one sitting. One cookie is four servings and ranges from 125 to 220 calories per serving, similar to a Crumbl cookie.

… confetti is one of my favorites though.
The confetti sugar cookie is soft and sweet, but not too rich.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

Outside of the seasonal flavors, the confetti is really tasty. It’s slightly flatter than the chocolate chip, and the soft texture is just right for a sugar cookie. I also like the s’mores and cookies-and-creme flavors when they’re available.

Overall, the cookies are just one part of the brand’s success.
The cookies come in a fun branded box.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

Obviously, it takes a good cookie to make a successful business, but I could see how the company’s branding and menu have helped position it apart from its competition.

From the cute little cookie characters on its packaging to a menu that is always changing, Chip City makes an experience out of a simple pleasure. The company also uses its social media accounts to get people hyped for new flavors and provide updates on its weekly menu.

When my husband and I first moved to Astoria and discovered Chip, we were hooked and visited almost every week. So I can see how the brand has successfully formed a cult-like following. We’ve both cut down on the sweets since then, but we’ll still go to Chip once in a while to try a new flavor.

Chip City’s locations are strategically placed.
Chip City’s locations are typically in shopping and dining hubs within the neighborhood.

Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins/Insider

This Astoria shop is in a high-traffic part of the neighborhood where people are likely to stop by after a meal at a local restaurant or grab a pick-me-up after some shopping.

Other locations like Sunset Harbor in Miami and a future location on Newbury Street in Boston are situated in convenient shopping and dining hubs.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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