A Cookie with a Taste of Home and Flavors of Nostalgia 

How Gables Entrepreneur Andrew Gonzalez Is Building A Cookie Empire

It’s the primary longing of childhood, those sugary sweets only allowed on special occasions: things like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, birthday cake, Fruity Pebbles, dark chocolate s’mores.

Now they’re available from Night Owl Cookies, packaged as a gourmet treat. With more than 10 locations in South Florida, the cookie haven is home to some of the most creative flavors in the culinary cookie craze. “It’s all about nostalgia for the Miami community,” says Gables resident Andrew Gonzalez, founder of Night Owl. “I’m Cuban American, and for me, all my flavors reflect a nostalgia from childhood. For example, the Sunday Pop Tart cookie. That reminds me of elementary school and loving that Pop Tart smell. ”It all started across from the FIU campus, with Gonzalez taking advantage of the college crowd by delivering cookies only at night. Now, there are stores in North Miami Beach, Wynwood, the Design District, and Pembroke Pines, among others, with more on the way. Baking over 10,000 cookies a day with about 100 employees, Night Owl Cookies is becoming a South Florida staple.

Night Owl Cookie

“When I started 10 years ago, I never imagined anything like this could happen,” Gonzalez said. “It was me, my mom, my grandma, and a couple of neighbors. Looking at where the company is now, I know anything is possible.” It’s the perfect recipe for the American dream: an entrepreneurial spirit and a great product. And with plans to franchise next year, Gonzalez and Night Owl are taking America by storm one cookie at a time.

Currently, each store garners over $1.3 million in sales per year. The FIU location, Gonzalez’s baby, is the top producing store with $2.5 million in annual sales. And it’s not just about the cookies. With homemade furniture and over 150 pounds of sprinkles in clear acrylic countertops, the décor is perfect for Instagrammable moments. The upbeat music creates a feeling of fun and makes the store more than just a stop in the world of childhood remembrance.

With a recipe book of over 100 rotating flavors and 12 permanent cookies on the menu, Night Owl Cookies is constantly creating new flavors. The cookies do not come cheap, however. With prices ranging from $2.99 for the regulars to $4.50 for limited time flavors, Gonzalez is doing for gourmet cookies what Starbucks did for coffee: upping the game with quality.

Night Owl Cookie

It’s not just for the locals either. Celebrities Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, and Neil Patrick Harris have all sought them out. On “305 Day,” a March 5 special when Night Owl produces flavors celebrating Miami, lines for the specialty one-day only cookies can last up to two hours. The Ave Maria cookie, featuring guava cookie dough and white chocolate chips, is a favorite in the Cuban community. And on April 20 – their top grossing day of the year – they sell a special 4/20 Munchie cookie.

“Our goal is to outdo ourselves every year,” Gonzalez says. “One of my favorite things to do is go to a grocery store, look at things I grew up with and what I love, and think, ‘How can we turn this into a cookie?’ Nine times out of 10, we are successful.”