What’s not to love about a cookie?
That was the motivation for two local families to open Loudoun’s first Crumbl cookie stores, in Leesburg and Ashburn.
Waterford couple Dovy and Natalie Paukstys are opening their Leesburg store this spring, while Joel Frary’s Ashburn location is set for an early summer debut.
The fast-growing cookie franchise is only two-and-a-half years old, but in its relative infancy has already grown to 136 stores nationwide, with 30 more being built now and another 50 planned. The Paukstys family alone is planning to open three locations in Northern Virginia, including their Leesburg flagship store.
The Paukstys had the enviable job of serving as taste testers for neighbor and Crumbl CEO Jason McGowan, and soon decided they wanted to open stores of their own. Opening a delicacy business is not much of a fish-out-of-water experiment for the couple, as Natalie Paukstys is a professional, high-end cake baker. But even she admits that some of her friends have told her that they are not fans of cake.
“You never hear people say ‘I hate cookies’,” she said. “There are so many different kinds of flavors [at Crumbl], making it relatable to whatever the fad is now. It’s such an old-fashioned sort of dessert that you never hear anyone get upset about.”
Crumbl, Dovy Paukstys said, “isn’t really new or different. This is just high-quality, yummy cookies with a little bit of novelty.”
It was also love at first sight for Frary and his family after sampling a Crumbl cookie at one of its new locations in Texas last year. Virginia natives, Frary and his wife jumped at the opportunity to move back east to open their own Crumbl shop.
Crumbl is known for its expansive cookie portfolio. The franchise boasts around 130 different flavors, with the selection rotating each week. Two staples remain constant on the menu—chocolate chip and chilled sugar cookie. Four other flavors round out the six offered weekly. They range from the traditional, like snickerdoodle, to the unconventional, like strawberry poptart, a warm, buttery cookie stuffed with strawberry filling and topped with white chocolate and sprinkles. Crumbl’s cookies are a half-inch to inch in thickness, and made fresh daily.
The Crumbl store owners have their favorites. For Dovy Paukstys, it’s the carrot cake and churro cookies. Natalie Paukstys enjoys the ultimate peanut butter, a peanut butter cookie stuffed with peanut butter, and the glazed lemon poppyseed cookie, which is stuffed with lemon. She bought an extra box of the latter cookie flavor the last time it was on Crumbl’s weekly rotation, and froze them to enjoy later.
For Frary, his favorite by far is the Biscoff lava cookie, a sugar cookie stuffed with Biscoff cookie butter.
It’s the “excitement of the unknown” that keeps Crumbl’s fans coming back for more, with the weekly menu set by Crumbl’s corporate headquarters and unveiled every Monday, Dovy Paukstys said. It also gives fans reason to check the website weekly to make sure their favorite flavor doesn’t go un-enjoyed, since it is unknown when it will reappear on the menu.
Fresh cookies are brought out every two hours at Crumbl stores. The Paukstys’ have vowed that no cookie will go to waste, and are looking for local nonprofit and community organizations to partner with to get leftover cookies to the hungry and food insecure.
Customers can pair the cookies with an assortment of the franchise’s ice cream, Crumbl cream, with 11 pre-packaged varieties offered weekly, and wash it down with milk, chocolate milk or Crumbl bottled water.
As an added bonus, Crumbl cookies can also be delivered right to your doorstep, and special orders are available for cookies in large quantities. The company has its own drivers and also utilizes the Doordash platform, Frary said.
The Leesburg shop will be located at 1008 Edwards Ferry Road, in the Costco/Target shopping center. The Ashburn Crumbl will be located at 44110 Ashburn Shopping Plaza, Suite 180, in the Ashburn Village Shopping Center.
More information about Crumbl can be found at crumblcookies.com.