When Brett Lazer ’07 returned from spring break with 80 homemade cookies, he and his roommates finished approximately 20 one night before going to sleep. In the morning, Lazer was surprised to see that the remaining cookies had vanished. He said that he found the empty Tupperware containers in the suite across the hall and that all but 10 of the cookies had been eaten.
On Wednesday, Alek Bierig ’07, who lives across the hall from Lazer, described the cookies as “better than sex.”
Lazer and his roommate, Andrew Pariser ’07, began baking and selling the cookies last week. Customers can choose between chocolate or coffee-flavored cookies and place orders by sending an AOL Instant Message to the screen name “YaleCookies.” Each night, Lazer or Pariser delivers the cookies — 20 for $5 — to any on-campus entryway until 2:00 a.m.
Tuesday night, Lazer and Pariser sold 200 cookies, they said.
“It is an impulse business,” Pariser said. “Brett was like, ‘We should do that,’ and I said, ‘Okay, let’s do it.'”
Although there are currently only two flavors available, Lazer and Pariser said they will begin selling orange next week and may introduce other flavors soon. Pariser said that all of the cookie flavors are chocolate-based.
“One of our investors was somebody who didn’t really like chocolate, and that was a mistake,” Lazer said.
Lazer said the cookies are meant to emulate chocolate truffles, and he said that he made them small because people had trouble finishing larger cookies.
Both Lazer and Pariser said they had not initially planned to start a business. Lazer explained that he baked often during high school and received positive feedback from his friends at Yale.
“Everyone was like, ‘Oh man, these are really good, you should start selling them,'” Lazer said.
The week before last, the two provided cookies for a study break in Branford and surveyed their friends to determine which flavors were the most popular in order to plan for marketing their product.
Now, both said that their customer base is expanding. Although they knew most of the people who ordered cookies last week, they said this week’s orders have come mainly from people they had not met. On Tuesday, they delivered to entryways in Silliman College, Jonathan Edwards College, Saybrook College and several buildings on Old Campus.
Pariser said that making the cookies is a process that requires 45 minutes of preparation and two to three hours of baking. He said they baked 400 cookies on Tuesday and will happily eat any leftovers on Saturday.
“There’s sort of a mix of emotions whenever we make a sale,” he said.
As they work to promote their cookies, Lazer and Pariser said they are offering a free batch to anyone who refers three new customers.
The two said they plan to continue selling cookies for the rest of this academic year and will probably do so again in the fall.
“Cookies bring me friends,” Lazer said. “Actually, that’s not really true. Cookies help keep friends.”