Cookies & Milk is an epic (and tasty) win for your late-night munchies
After-hours food delivery services are limited when it comes to the proverbial cuisine pyramid, especially in Sacramento. When hunger strikes after a long shift at work or the munchies demand to be fulfilled with salty, crunchy nourishment, two choices appear to be consistent: a 10 p.m. craving for last resort chow mein most likely from a third-string Chinese restaurant, or the typical, medium-temperature pepperoni pie ordered somewhere down the pizza chain. The choices are slim. Do they really satisfy? No. If anything, after consumption, you recite a solid oath in your studio apartment never to order from such establishments again—or at least, until the next late-night shift occurs, the refrigerator is empty and the cycle resets.
Enter Cookies and Milk. A convenient-mom-and-pop-style business that answers the calls and online food orders of late-night crowds with its warm, freshly baked cookies packaged with cold cartons of milk right at home. Is this real life? Yes. And it’s delicious.
Co-owners and longtime friends Nick Altman, 26, and Will Countryman, 24, grew up together in Modesto, California and eventually reunited at UC Davis where they both graduated with bachelor’s degrees. With an appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit, the two decided Sacramento’s sweet tooth lacked in terms of late-night delivery needs and in turn, opened Cookies and Milk with its online and phone-in order system.
“Sacramento didn’t have a late-night type of business like ours. So, Will and I created the business that we wanted to order from,” Altman explains. “Plus, everyone likes a cookie.”
Cookies and Milk opened its online doors in March 2013 as a two-person bakery and delivery team solely consisting of Altman and Countryman completing a few sporadic orders per night. Now, with their two-year anniversary approaching, the two friends estimate they’ve baked and delivered more than 30,000 cookies to downtown, Midtown and surrounding areas.
“It used to be just the two of us scrambling to get five, six orders out. But now, it’s four or five of us trying to get out as many as 30-plus orders a night,” Countryman says of the company’s growth so far.
Altman agrees and admits, “We’ve cooked a lot of cookies by now, and we’ve burned a lot of cookies and learned a lot along the way.”
What began as simple, family recipes eventually evolved into their current menu featuring seasonal and rotating cookie specials. Choices include: spiced snickerdoodle, classic chocolate chip, sugar and peanut butter, or the chocolate crinkle, a brownie-like cookie dusted with powder sugar. Still, the guys find time to bake their seasonal additions like their Thanksgiving-inspired cranberry thumbprint, a shortbread cookie with cranberry jelly center; or pumpkin spice cookie with cream cheese middle.
Other rotating specials Cookies and Milk offers its customers: An Oreo cheesecake cookie with its cheesecake-like dough rolled in Oreo cookie crumbs; and the Fruity Pebbles cookie, cake-like with Fruity Pebbles cereal baked right inside. Altman says it’s comparable to Funfetti cake.
Cookies and Milk operates out of a cozy, commercial bakery called Sugar and Spice located in the downtown area. The kitchen contains long, wooden and stainless steel prep tables, a large oven and endless stacks of cookie sheets, muffin tins, piles of mixing bowls and dozens of whisks, ladles and large spoons for any baker’s creative desires.
The space is cute. Paper tissue ornaments hang from the ceiling and accent a pastel yellow wall with metallic silver swirls comparable to icing on a frosted cake. Pink and white polka-dot curtains shield the outside hustle and bustle of downtown, while inside the aroma of fresh-baked goodies wafts from the oven as it hums quietly.
On any given Tuesday or Wednesday (or dough day), Altman and Countryman are found here, mixing and rolling cookie dough in preparation for the weekend. On this particular Wednesday, Altman, wearing a pair of plastic gloves, presses chocolate cookies into balls and rolls them in a bowl of powdered sugar before the tray is placed into the hot oven.
“The cookies are delivered warm. They come hot and fresh to your door with cold milk. Some people are surprised,” Countryman says. “Baking is definitely a science as much as a cooking skill.”
His advice for the novice baker with less than 30,000 cookies under his or her belt: “Wets before dries and cream your butter and sugar before you throw in your eggs.”
As Altman first described, “Everyone likes a cookie,” and over the last two years in business, Cookies and Milk has delivered sweet treats to the doors of a wide spectrum of regulars.
“Our demographic is across the board. We get a lot of the late-night crowd like stoners, people that are coming back from the bars [and] a lot of college students,” Altman describes. “But, we also get families, couples, [and] we’ve delivered to little kids’ sleepovers. Fresh-baked cookies really appeal to anyone and everyone.”
The two friends and business partners plan to expand their cookie delivery business within the next year with visions of a retail space with late-night walk-in orders and expanding the Cookies and Milk delivery hours, which currently operate on a Thursday through Saturday basis.
With the holidays quickly approaching, Altman and Countryman say they’ll also be looking more toward office delivery and expanded hours.
“This is definitely a labor of love for us and something we have a lot of fun with,” Altman says. “Sometimes, we even deliver in a Cookies and Milk costume. If it’s not fun, we won’t do it.”
We’re not sure why you’re still reading this: Dude, cookies and milk you don’t even have to leave the house for! They bring it right to you! What are you waiting for? … OH YEAH! You need the number. Cookies & Milk’s hours of operation are Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Check out their delivery area map and place your order at Cookiesnmilkdelivery.com or call (916) 539-3205.