Red Eye Cookie Co. builds brand power as the local favorite
Fresh cookies, coffee and milk delivered late at night. It’s the perfect combination and every student’s dream come true. Heck, it's my dream come true. But during those late-night cram sessions for exams and writing this blog post, who's going to make sweet dreams a reality?
Ashland native Brayden Pleasants opened up Red Eye Cookie Co. on West Grace Street in March 2014 with a childhood friend. Being the first to bring cookie deliver to Richmond required some out-of-the box thinking. Creativity and dedication to creating high-quality products at affordable prices have been top-of-mind for Brayden.
“Going into it, we knew that everyone loves cookies and it’s an exciting concept especially when you added in the late-night delivery component,” he said. “And people were really going to love it at a certain level, but we wanted to go above and beyond.”
Components such as original recipes, local product offerings, making cookies from scratch and baking to order lend to those points of difference. Flour is sourced from Ashland, milk and lemonade from Virginia's Homestead Creamery, and coffee from Black Hand Coffee Company keep Red Eye Cookie Co. position .
Collaborating in local events, being an active member of the Richmond food community, and a clever social media presence give Red Eye Cookie Co. a competitive edge as other cookie makers enter the market -- specifically on Grace St.
You'll now find Red Eye Cookies pre-packaged in several local markets and breweries in addition to a cookie cart at local events. They also recently collaborated with Strangeways Brewery on a cookie and beer pairing.
Regarding that competition, Brayden said his team is just focusing on what they do best - producing a quality product.
“We really wanted it to be, at the risk of sounding cliche, an experience of a really gourmet-quality, homemade cookie that our customers could enjoy instead of cutting corners along the way.”
Brayden wanted to build a brand from the beginning with a product that people strongly believed in.
“Cookies should be here [in Richmond] and there’s a side of it that’s very satisfying to know that we were very right,” he said. “Which we knew from day one when we opened up.
"We pay attention to what’s going on around us. What's been really important to us as we saw new entrants into the market is to keep doing what we’re doing well and to keep our focus on the quality that we had always had.”
According to Brayden, everything the company does always comes back to the brand.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the different platforms that we’ve extended to,” he said. “But all of that is geared to lead back to the brand and what we do best - which is baking fresh, made-to-order cookies for pickup and delivery.”
Red Eye Cookie Co. is located at 708 West Grace Street. Hours are 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Check them out online at redeyecookieco.com.