Local Cookie Monsters were out in full force Friday as dessert franchise outlet Crumbl Nepean opened its doors for the first time.

Crumbl Cookies is a viral sensation on social media across North America for its unique biscuits. Employees at the Woodroffe Avenue location said people had been waiting outside since 4 a.m., four hours ahead of opening. The store, the first of its kind in Ottawa, is in College Square mall just across from Algonquin College.

Matthew Misceo was one of those waiting in the long line to buy some cookies for his parents in Sudbury, who had tried them on a trip to the United States and were hooked. 

“It’s been around 30 minutes now,” he told Capital Current, “but it should take around two hours.”

Some of this week’s flavours at Ottawa’s first Crumbl Cookies include Butter Cake and Chocolate Covered Pretzel Pie. [Photo @ Audrey Gunn]

Karine Vanriel and Melina Leonard had a three-hour wait ahead of them.

Neither had tried the cookies before, but they had heard about the brand through social media.

“We’ve been waiting pretty long, looking at all of the TikToks, we’re pretty excited,” Leonard said.

This week’s flavour lineup includes Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunk, Butter Cake, Chocolate Covered Pretzel Pie, Lemon Cupcake, Honey Bun and Peanut Butter and Jelly. 

Andy Al Hasan owns the local outlet. He said he was happy to see the community’s excitement about the opening. 

“It’s been quite the experience, honestly. I’d probably say the best experience of my entire life. I’ve never done anything like this, and I just love how Ottawa’s responded to it.”

After gaining popularity on social media, the opening of a Crumbl Cookies outlet in Ottawa was highly anticipated. [Photo @ Audrey Gunn]

Al Hasan is no stranger to social media success. His own fitness content has been widely seen. And, through social media, he connected with Sawyer Hemsley, the co-founder of Crumbl Cookies, and applied for the new Ottawa location.

“I just wanted to bring Crumbl to my hometown. I thought it felt right,” he said.

Al Hasan’s favourite Crumbl flavour is Key Lime Pie. He said his favourite flavour from this week’s batch is Butter Cake, which quickly sold out at the College Square location.

Al Hasan said he was concerned about keeping up with the demand for the cookies, but after seeing what opening days looked like at the 15 other Canadian locations, he was well-prepared.

“I’ve seen the lineups in Alberta, or even in Toronto, and I kind of expected this,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue to keep this demand up and open more locations in the future.”

Al Hasan said he loves connecting with his employees and the Ottawa community. 

“We have 70-plus employees right now, most of them younger college kids, and I’ve just had such an amazing time working with them,” he said. “It’s more than just the cookies, it’s the experience.”