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Captain Cookie & The Milkman is opening across the river for the first time as a part of the local treat-yourself brand’s ongoing regional expansion. The shop should open at 2200 Clarendon Blvd. in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood this spring. The space was most recently a GNC. “It’s just a calcium supplement store now,” co-owner Kirk Francis jokes.
The menu spans eight flavors of cookies that are baked on site, local milk from South Mountain Creamery, and Ice Cream Jubilee ice cream. Do it right by selecting two cookies and an ice cream flavor to build a custom ice cream sandwich.
In the dead of winter, the sandwiches even stand up to delivery. “We put ice cream sandwiches together a minute or two before they go out the door,” Francis says. “It’s the one case where we try not to use a hot cookie so it doesn’t melt the ice cream.”
Captain Cookie, which Francis runs with his wife Juliann, started as a mobile operation—a single food truck back in 2012. Now there are local retail shops in Eastern Market, Brookland, and Foggy Bottom. Earlier this year, Washington Business Journal reported that another D.C. location might be coming to Cleveland Park in the former Firehook Bakery space at 3411 Connecticut Ave. NW. Francis says he’s still negotiating that lease.
There’s also a Captain Cookie in North Carolina, but Francis says they’re only focused on regional expansion right now. “We would rather grow slowly and be able to keep quality up at each location than try to blitz the whole nation and have everything else take a hit,” he says. “Also, we don’t have millions of dollars in our pockets, so to go national is a moot point.”
The company “got whacked” by the pandemic. “We were planning to open two new locations in 2020 and we had to scratch those plans,” Francis says. “We used those cash reserves to keep ourselves solvent.” A pair of Paycheck Protection Program loans prevented the couple from making any layoffs. Now they’re feeling more optimistic that customers will start venturing back into sweet shops.
Francis says he noticed customers were coming over from Arlington to visit the Foggy Bottom store because they were outside the delivery radius. “We’re super jazzed about being able to go to them and being easier to access to everyone in Northern Virginia.”
When it opens this spring in Arlington, Captain Cookie’s hours will likely be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Captain Cookie & The Milkman, 2200 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington; captaincookiedc.com