Saturday Sweets: Night Owl Cookie Co. and Forbes 30 Under 30 Winner Andrew Gonzalez
In 2015 Andrew Gonzalez dropped out of college in pursuit of chasing a dream about a late night cookie delivery company. Just a mere two years later he’s part of the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 class and winner of the Forbes Best Young Chef in the Sweets Category. While he says he never thought the company would grow the way it did, he’s got even bigger ideas for it in the future. If you saw the kitchen that Andrew and his team are using to crank over over 2,000 cookies per day you’d be stunned, but it's a long way from his parents' Westchester kitchen where the business began. He credits Miami’s most well known food blogger Burger Beast and South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Schrager for mentoring him to where he is now.
Currently the menu features 12 different kinds of cookies, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, milk, and cold brew coffee. One of my favorites is the Birthday Cake cookie - white chocolate and milk chocolate cookie covered in sprinkles and drizzled with frosting. The winning Forbes cookie is the very Miami Ave Maria cookie - guava cookie dough mixed in with crunchy Maria cookies and white chocolate chips then topped with Maria cookie crumbles, guava pieces and finished with a cream cheese frosting drizzle. There’s something for everyone from Nutella to simple sugar cookies.
I got the chance to sit down with Andrew right after this big Boston adventure and Forbes win to chat about Night Owl and of course eat way too many cookies.
Here’s how it went:
- How did you get your start in baking?
It’s kinda crazy, I was actually in business school and I was two classes away from graduating. I was traveling and saw this and was like why don’t we have this in Florida?! We love late nights, we party, we have a bunch of universities. So I decided to bring it here. I dropped out of college and my parents, my family, everyone thought I was insane. And I had no idea how to cook or bake, so I spent a full summer teaching myself and putting stuff together until I found what I liked. Lots of trial and error, but that’s how I started.
- What inspires your menu?
My childhood! So I love cereal, I love candy - I’m Cuban so of course lots of guava. My favorite cereals are Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, and Captain Crunch. So I had to have something with that. I’ve always loved dulce de leche and of course, the Ave Maria with the guava was a Miami no brainer.
- Where do you see Night Owl Cookie Co. in 5 years?
Definitely nationwide! I only want a couple stores in Miami before we leave here. I’m love the Momofuku Milk Bar concepts, I’m obsessed with Christina Tosi. I think she’s incredible. The long term goal is to be known as the “Starbucks of desserts” and to be a place where people just come and hang out and eat sweets.
- What’s your sweet guilty pleasure?
So I’ve actually been doing this for so long, that I’m not really a sweets person anymore. It’s probably been over a year since I’ve had more than a bite or two of a cookie. I love burgers! I’m a huge burger guy, whenever I get a chance! Give me a burger over sweets any day.
When asked if he would eventually do other desserts, Andrew said “I’m not sure, I have a bunch of other recipes that aren’t cookies. But we don’t have enough space in the kitchen right, so we will see. But honestly I’m not sure yet.” They are going through a rebranding process currently, so it's definitely possible that we will see some other treats coming out of the Night Owl Cookie kitchen soon. Especially once the new shop opens down the street featuring a kitchen twice as large as the entire current location. We are giddy at the thought of just how many cookies are to come. The new shop, which Andrew says will be his dream kitchen, is expected to open within the next two months. It will have more space, more parking, and more surprises.
Night Owl Cookie Co. is currently open seven days a week from 2pm to 2am and is delivering through Postmates and UberEats.
10742 SW 24th Street
Miami, FL 33165