Late-night trips to the Village are about to get a little sweeter.
In January, Insomnia Cookies will open its latest shop in the Village across the street from Cleo’s Bourbon Bar. The store has been under renovation for a few weeks and is nearly complete.
Insomnia Cookies’ marketing manager Renee Sarnecky said she is excited to open the new late night snack option that will deliver fresh cookies, brownies and ice cream to customers until 3 a.m.
“Basically, our mission is to bring you guys fresh, warm cookies from the oven straight to your doors until the wee hours of the morning,” she said. “If you’re studying or out and about after a late night, there’s limited late night food options, especially that deliver, so that’s kind of where we come in.”
Sarnecky said the company has been scouting Ball State for some time and thought the campus community could use another late night snack option.
“It’s a lot to do with the campus and the students and kind of what’s in the area in Muncie and Ball State definitely needed another late night option, especially a late night delivery option,” she said.
Greek’s Pizzeria or Carter’s Hotdogs have been two popular late night options in the Village for years, but both businesses are excited to see a new store emerge.
Greek’s Pizzeria manager Mike Bandor said he’s thrilled to get more activity in the Village.
“Personally, as an alumni here, I think the more business that comes back to the Village, you’ll get more of a bar scene,” he said. “If you start generating more people coming to the Village to do the late night thing and go to the bars you know, the more people you have hanging out and doing that sort of thing, the more pie you’re going to sell at the booth. In theory, it can only help.”
Mark Carter, owner of Carter’s Nearly World Famous Hot Dogs, isn’t worried about the competition Insomnia Cookies could bring.
“It’s cool. The more the merrier; anything that draws more business down here is good for everybody,” Carter said. “I hope they’re successful and sell a lot of cookies.”
Carter currently owns and operates an outlet of his hot dog stand in the Muncie Mall.
Despite the investment he’s seen over the years in the Village, he likes the on-the-go setting of his hot dog stand.
“I’ve been here for almost 19 years,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot come and a lot go.”
While Greek’s Pizzeria and Carter’s Hot Dogs are local businesses in Indiana, Insomnia Cookies has 27 locations, including the new one in the Village. The cookie business has locations at Purdue and Butler but spans as far east as Harvard and Syracuse.
Grandma Betty’s manager Jeannine Lake said she is excited for the new neighbor.
“I would say that for the most part, Ball State is a great place to be,” she said. “In the winter time, getting students down to that part of town, that’s a little hard but not impossible, but we have to have things to offer them. You just got to kind of weather the storm.”
Regardless of the competition that another dessert shop in town could create for Grandma Betty’s, Lake said she likes seeing new businesses in the Village.
“I’m excited about having them there because one business affects another in a positive way,” she said. “We say the more the merrier.”
Freshmen Chris Purvis and Ben O’Donnell said they still won’t become regular customers until Cardinal Cash is accepted.
“We might start [going] if they start accepting our cards, because we’re just freshmen. We don’t have jobs right now, so we don’t have a way of paying for stuff in the Village,” Purvis said.
O’Donnell said he rarely makes trips to the Village, and when he does, it’s just to get cash out of an ATM.
“I really don’t stop nor really look at any other store,” he said. “I haven’t been there since the beginning of the year to actually buy something, so going down there has just not been a part of my college life.”
Bandor said he also thinks the Village has become unappealing.
“When I was in college here, the bar scene was awesome and out of control, and now it’s awful; it’s embarrassing,” he said. “As an alumni, I’m embarrassed by the bar activity, late night on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, whereas it just wasn’t that way when I went to school here.”
Carter said the Village has been on the down slope since he started selling hot dogs.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the highs,” he said.
Regardless of the skepticism many have of the Village, it does seem that businesses are slowly filling up the vacant buildings scattered throughout. In the last few years, Cleo’s Bourbon Bar, The Cup, D-Luxe, Grandma Betty’s, cardinal cupcakes and coneys and Oh Fusion Japanese have been added.
When students get back from winter break, they can expect to get their first cookie from the new store using coupons. Samecky said the business’ standard promotion is to give out free cookie coupons during opening week.
“We thought it was a perfect thing for Insomnia Cookies, so here we are, getting ready to open up to you guys,” she said.