Winter is delivering more than iced roads to Asheville. It's bringing baking sheets of iced cookies and ice cream galore.
Crumbl Cookies, a national bakery company, will make its Asheville debut Jan. 28. The grand opening hours will be 8 a.m. to midnight at 5 Westgate Parkway in the Westgate Plaza.
The regular hours will be 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-midnight on Friday and Saturday. The store will be closed on Sundays.
"Literally every day in the last two weeks since we pulled down our construction graphics, people have been coming up to buy cookies and we're like, 'We're not quite ready for you yet but come back in a little bit!'" said local franchise owner Josh Petty.
A few things that keep customers coming through the door are the cookies' freshness and eclectic flavors and recipes.
"This is the pure decadent and gluttony kind of indulgence experience," Petty said. "Everything's made from scratch and whole foods -- nothing processed. ... Everything is made in-house here. Nothing is pre-done or shipped to us. It's fresh-made, big, huge gourmet amazing cookies."
Crumbl Cookies is known for its rotating, limited supply of oversized specialty cookies, announced online. More than 120 recipes are in the company's collection, but only six are on the menu at one time. The social media buzz keeps customers nationwide in a state of anticipation and wondering what's coming week to week.
The two signature cookies that are menu fixtures are the Milk Chocolate Chip and Classic Pink Sugar. Asheville store also will open with the company's featured flavors of the week: Cinnamon Fry Bread, Raspberry Lemonade, Oatmeal with ROLO candy and Chocolate Cake Cookies.
Crumbl Cookies has released a line of ice cream. Premade, prepackaged containers will be available at the new store. The freezer is stocked with Snickerdoodle, Vanilla, Peanut Butter Brittle and Brownie.
In the days leading up to its official opening, the team of Asheville bakers was practicing cookie icing techniques. They spent the week prepping the signature pink boxes and making and baking the dough in the commercial ovens.
"We have these amazing rotating ovens that have eight full sheets of cookie trays, and they rotate while they're baking so it's a perfectly even bake," Petty said.
Staff baker Paul Robinson has enjoyed learning the recipes, mixing the dough and working on his frosting technique, he said. He's worked in restaurant kitchens before, but it's his first time working in a bakery.
The job definitely comes with its perks.
"For my employment here I am required to eat cookies," Robinson said. "We can't sell products that we don't know. If a customer asks us what a cookie tastes like or which is our favorite we need to be able to give them an honest answer."
Robinson's favorite, thus far, is the cornbread cookie.
"It actually tastes like cornbread with a dollop of whipped honey butter on it. It's at the top of my list," Robinson said. "Also, churro (cookie) is one of my favorites."
For weekly announcements of cookie flavors, follow Crumbl Cookies on Instagram @crumblcookies.
In-store, curbside pickup, catering, and local and nationwide delivery services are offered for the cookies. For more information and updates, visit crumbl.com/ncwestgate or follow at facebook.com/crumblwestgate/.
Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage.
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: National bakery, Crumbl Cookies comes to Westgate Plaza in Asheville