How Blondies Kitchen's cookies went viral
30 Oct 2016
Set up by two friends, Chelsie Collins and Kristelle Levy, Blondies Kitchen is the milk and cookies bar that Londoners have being going mad for. During their first two week pop-up the girls sold almost 10,000 cookies. We caught up with them to find out how they made it happen.
It all began a year ago, when Kristelle who was the head chef at Black Truffle, and Chelsie who was a BBC food writer, decided to leave their jobs to launch a catering business. Cookies were always a part of their offering, but it was a trip to New York that made them realise their full potential. They spotted a “hole in the wall” cookies & milk bar and realised there was nothing like it in the UK, so decided to bring it back.
They opted to book a market stall in Old Street, so they could get in front of as many people as possible. “You 100% couldn’t miss us in the station,” Chelsie explains, “we were bang in front of the ticket barriers. It was also perfect because it was so easy to get to, it meant a lot of people could nip over in their lunch breaks to pick up cookies.”
Things really kicked off when they shared a picture of their cookie sandwich on Instagram. “People went mad for it. The picture was shared on Time Out and it spread from there. We didn’t in any way expect that picture was going to be so popular, but looking back I think it’s because it’s a bit different and there wasn’t anything like it out there,” Chelsie told us.
It also helped that they both had good contacts in the food industry and were able to get coverage in the Evening Standard, Metro, Time Out, Londonist, and tonnes of food bloggers.
“We initially thought we’d sell 300 cookies a day, but in the end it was closer to 1000.” By the end of the two weeks, they’d sold almost 10,000 cookies. “That began to take it’s toll. We bake all the cookies ourselves, so we had to get up at 2am each morning to get them done in time. It definitely helps if you have a boyfriend who’s a chef to help out. He ended up having to take a week off to work to help us prep the cookie dough during the day!” Chelsie admits.
So what went down the best in Old Street? “Everyone was loving our Oreo stuffed Nutella cookie – it sold out by lunch each day. And of course, the cookie cream sandwich. We also had lots of people coming down just for the coco pops milk. I think that was because it’s such a novel concept,” Chelsie adds, “I loved watching people have their first sip because they’d just start laughing.”
When asked what she thinks it is about milk and cookies that gets people so excited, Chelsie explains “It’s one of those things the simple things in life that makes people happy. Who doesn’t love the memory of having milk and cookies as a child? Coco Pops cereal milk has such a nostalgia surrounding it and it’s been mainly adults buying from our stall. That’s why everyone’s loving it so much.”
Off the back of the success of the last two weeks, Blondies Kitchen have been signed up to do the dessert bar at Taste London, and are also on the hunt for their next pop-up space. “It was funny, people kept asking where they could find our permanent shop. So that’s where ultimately we want to get to. We’ve learnt so much from the last two weeks from the logistics of running our own stall, to discovering what people enjoy the best – and simply proving that people love our idea.”
Feeling inspired? Find space for your idea in Old Street Station