Story by Brooke Hill | News Editor, Video by Savannah Cooper | Broadcast Reporter
There was a line wrapped around the new Tiff’s Treats building at 720 S. Fifth St. early Saturday morning, full of people anticipating gift cards and other promised freebies.
Tiff’s Treats makes and delivers classic, baked-to-order cookies and brownies straight from the oven to the home or office, in about an hour — and they’re always warm.
The first 40 people in line were rewarded with $100 gift cards, while everyone else in line at 10 a.m. was awarded a $10 gift card.
Hampton, NJ senior Tabby Gawalis got to the shop at 10:30 p.m. Friday night to secure her $100 gift card.
“It was unnecessary, because everyone else got here this morning and got the same prize, but I think it was good for the memories,” Gawalis said. “It’ll be fun to tell people we camped out for no reason and still got a gift card.”
Gawalis camped out for the openings of Heritage Creamery, Old Chicago pizza, Raising Cane’s and Pokey O’s, but said this time was special because she loves cookies.
“The cookies are fresh and warm every time you get them,” Gawalis said. “Cookies are probably my favorite food, so when you get them and they’re warm and gooey … I’m just excited to bring people here and treat them to free cookies.”
Tiff’s Treats partnered with the Baylor Clinic for Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) for its opening day. By the end of the day, about 800 boxes were sold, resulting in a donation of about $4000. The store also encouraged customers to bring children’s books, with a $5 gift card incentive.
Tonya Davis, director of CARE, said Tiff’s Treats found their website and reached out to them.
“I was so excited, I’m pretty sure I screeched in my office,” Davis said. “They are amazing, and I didn’t know if I was more excited that we were getting a Tiff’s Treats or that they were going to partner with us for their grand opening.”
Davis described CARE as a program where children with disabilities are provided therapeutic services for a reduced rate.
“Any donations that we can get basically just allow us to keep doing that,” Davis said. “Our goal is to serve families that otherwise could not get these services. Sometimes they don’t have insurance or their particular insurance wouldn’t cover these services, so really the overall picture is it helps us continue providing services to children in need who otherwise couldn’t get them. But we will use it to buy things that we need for therapy: new assessments, new iPads, new communication devices – just educational materials that we need.”
Prior to opening, the store manager offered $5 gift cards to everyone in line who followed Tiff’s Treats on Instagram and downloaded the app. Everyone who was in line before 3 p.m. was offered the chance to buy a dozen cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or snickerdoodle) for just $5. Other giveaways included free t-shirts and prizes from sponsors hidden in random boxes. All who attended were also entered into a drawing to win free cookies for a year.
“We are thrilled to expand our presence in Texas to the Waco community,” said Tiffany Chen, co-founder of Tiff’s Treats, in a press release.
The Waco location marks the 41st store for the Austin-based company.
“We started our company almost 20 years ago on campus at the University of Texas, just an hour-and-a-half drive from Waco,” said Leon Chen, Tiffany’s husband and co-founder of Tiff’s Treats, in a press release. “We have enjoyed watching Waco thrive and grow and we are excited to finally put some roots down in Waco, which creates a perfect midway stop between our first two markets of Austin and Dallas.”