When Pam and Matthew Arias stepped into a Crumbl cookie store out in Boulder, CO, it was a transformative moment. Matthew had grown up in the food industry, his family owning Little Ceasars franchises in Alabama, and the couple had moved out West so he could attend culinary school.
Enchanted, the two moved fast — snapping up Boston-area rights to the hot cookie franchise and purchasing a Cohasset home back on the South Shore, where the couple has deep roots.
Pam and Matthew met in college and got married in Scituate, where Pam’s parents still live. They recently celebrated their tenth anniversary at the Red Lion, the site of their rehearsal dinner.
Those startup months were a blur: moving during COVID-19, juggling a brand-new baby girl, Marley, getting their two boys, Santo, 8, and Gray, 6, enrolled at Osgood School, and hiring nearly 90 employees to staff their first store in Hanover.
Upon opening at Merchants Row in February, lines were out the door, and the store still reliably sells thousands of cookies each week, all in those trademark pink boxes. The two credit the dedication of the team Matthew assembled, from Rachael, the general manager, to Louisa, who makes the majority of the cookie dough.
“Everything's made from scratch,” Matthew says, “There’s no frosting in a bag. We melt the chocolate and make the crumbly toppings. And if we make a mistake, we don't sell it. It's hard sometimes to throw hundreds of cookies away, but it's the right thing to do. It’s a luxury item — so it has to be right.” (They also donate unsold leftover cookies to local police and fire stations.)
Another secret to their success is Crumbl's innovative cookie recipes, from Cornbread to Blueberry Muffin, which rotates weekly and comes with instructional videos.
Since opening, top sellers include the perennial chocolate chip, which never leaves the menu, but also creations such as the Chips Ahoy-inspired "Blue Monster," the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and Smores with toasted marshmallows and drizzled chocolate on top.
Crumbl desserts have also popped up at local weddings and “gender reveal” parties, with a dab of pink or blue frosting hiding inside the cookie.
“The community responded well to Crumbl, and we feel very thankful for that,” Matthew says, who is poised to open five more locations, from Dedham down to Cape, including one debuting in Plymouth next month. “We love the truly strong sense of community in Cohasset, and the folks we’ve met have been really amazing. I think we finally found a place we're going to live for a long time.”