It’s a Friday night, and you’re at a party. You get that familiar craving for something sweet, but you don’t want to venture out of your social gathering. You’re left with no choice but to sit and wait while your sweet tooth aches...
That is, until your roommate slips you a scrap of paper. You unfold it to find a number. Curious and without options, you text, instant message, or call 2 Cookies 1 Buck; within a few minutes, Conrad greets you on his bike, and hands you a package of cookies for a reasonable price, all without having to leave your friends.
Conrad Conkledairy* is a fourth year student who decided to spend his last quarter at RIT making people happy and finding interesting stories through homemade cookies. He started learning how to cook at the end of freshman year. He quickly gravitated to baking and was given a bread maker for Christmas that year. While he enjoyed the appliance, Conkledairy felt limited by it. Soon he was given a KitchenAid stand mixer, and his baking took off.
Starting out small, he would often bake cookies for classmates and friends, garnering rave reviews. People would offer suggestions, and Conkledairy would try out new recipes until he found a few that everyone loved.
About two years ago, the idea of opening a cookie business popped into Conkledairy’s head, but being a full time student did not offer him enough time to commit to it. He wanted a place where younger people could get food late at night on Thursdays through Saturdays. And instead of sloppy bar food, his business would have a dessert twist.
Shortly before spring break this year, the idea came back, and it wouldn’t leave him.
“I knew that I would have a relatively easy schedule spring quarter… Maybe I could just make cookies and just bike around. And I [said] ‘I’ll do what I got to do and make it happen,’” said Conkledairy.
So he began to stock up on bulk ingredients and refined his cookie recipes in his apartment, which he has dubbed, “The Bakery.” Now he and his girlfriend make the standard varieties that everyone knows best: chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, M&M and oatmeal butterscotch. Occasionally he offers specials, such as when the RIT Men’s Hockey was in Detroit for the NCAA Frozen Four. To keep up with Tiger spirit, he sold chocolate orange cookies.
Conkledairy has also branched out to cookie sandwiches where he makes his own frosting, giving a bit more variety to his customers. By far his most popular is the Snickersmore sandwich, which has two snickerdoodle cookies, layered with chocolate ganache and a roasted marshmallow filling.
Before he could start selling, he had to find a name. “I wanted something that explained the concept quickly and easily,” said Conkledairy. As a self-proclaimed nerd that spends a lot of time on the internet, he was inspired by the viral video “2 Girls 1 Cup” because of how simple and recognizable it was. Despite the name, he is frequently asked how much money a pair of cookies cost.
On a typical night, Conkledairy will receive his various communications all on his Blackberry and assess the orders. He responds to the customers, packs his backpack and hops on his bike to deliver his products.
Along the way, he has had some unorthodox transactions including collecting money from a couch cushion and leaving cookies on said couch while a student was in class. One night, regular customers from Kate Gleason Hall lowered a bag from the fourth floor with money where Conkledairy deposited the sought after cookies.
“I do [2 Cookies 1 Buck] because I just really want to get a good story,” said Conkledairy. “My least favorite question is ‘What is the craziest or most interesting thing you’ve ever done?’ And I never felt that I had a good, immediate answer for that. But now, I have an answer.”
2 Cookies 1 Buck will not be open for business during finals week so that Conkledairy can focus on his projects and relax before graduation. There are no plans for the business to continue next year since he will be moving to Massachusetts to start a job in his field, unrelated to late night cookie deliveries.
Conkledairy does have hopes to open a legitimate, late night cookie or dessert business, perhaps in Boston, Mass. at some point in the future. But for now, he will utilize his undergraduate degree and join the corporate world.
* Pseudonym has been used to protect the student’s identity.