Agent Snickerdoodle recently appeared on San Diego 6 News. Watch Now
Despite passing his oral exams, this UC San Diego student, whose identity shall remain secret, dropped out of his chemistry Ph.D. program back in the summer of 2011.
“Being in a lab was not my calling,” he reflected.
But this former student still calls UCSD home. He is the mastermind (and owner) of The Secret Cookie Service
. This secret agent in disguise (who responds to the moniker “Agent Snickerdoodle”) is known to lurk around campus residence halls, clad in a dark suit and sunglasses carrying a briefcase full of cookies that are based on his mother’s secret recipe.
His family had joked about selling his mom’s famous cookies, which have a distinctive soft, doughiness… simply put, perfection. After a few months of job searching, Agent Snickerdoodle thought the joke was in fact a good idea and answered the call, much to the delight of UCSD students, bereft of homemade treats.
“I baked 500 chocolate chip cookies, put them in individual Ziplock bags, tied with a piece of paper that said, ‘If you like these cookies, you should order them… every night of the week from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.’” He left a phone number, which goes straight to a robotic voicemail that outlines the pricing and varieties he provides.
Since then, business has been booming. The popular new service delivers fresh baked cookies to students who need a late night study break.
Agent Snickerdoodle has maintained his anonymity since his business started; originally it was to hide his identity from people who might recognize him from his chemistry program, but the now the mystique serves as a quirky business tactic.
The Secret Cookie Service now also serves students off-campus, and on the campus of San Diego State University, too. It also received its Health Department certification. While Agent Snickerdoodle has a few friends and former students that help him out with deliveries (who are also clad in their infamous suits and sunglasses), he is currently the only full-time employee.
“I’d love to have an actual payroll,” says Agent Snickerdoodle, who also wants to sell to other locations in San Diego. “The whole operation would work easily on another campus, but you have to be able to produce twice the amount of cookies each day.”
While he’s looking into finding investors that could help him expand his business, he’s happy to be amongst his fellow Tritons for now.
“All of my success can be attributed to having the community that we do at UCSD,” he says.
“I work really hard. I barely sleep. I know what I put out there is smart, but you have to have a very supportive community, and that’s what UCSD provides.”
-- Mina Nilchian, ’14