The line begins to pile up at 8:30 a.m. for DŌ, Manhattan's trendiest new shop selling edible unbaked cookie dough. It doesn't start serving until 10 a.m., but that's no problem for the hundreds of early birds flocking to the buzzy sweetshop, which opened a month ago, and keeping it packed all day. Tourists and locals alike are prepared to wait out the cold for the perfect sugar rush—and Instagram.
"I knew I loved cookie dough, and I knew other people loved cookie dough, but I did not expect this," founder Kristen Tomlan told TIME. She's had to staff up to keep up with demand and run production "round the clock," she says. "We typically don't sell out until the very end of the day, if at all," she reassured—although they have turned customers away when it gets too late.
On Tuesday afternoon, about 150 people could be found lined up across the street and down the block in sub-40 degree chill.
Most people queuing up for the delights of DŌ had discovered the shop via social media.
For Mariana Barajas, Alexa David, and Trefina Dixon, a trio of twentysomething friends hailing from California and New Jersey, the appeal was in checking out a new hotspot.
"I'm a pastry chef, so I have to try everything," Barajas said. She'd just been to Magnolia Bakery to test out their famous banana pudding.
Melanie Miller of Rhode Island brought her two kids, aged 9 and 12, along for the line; they kept warm during their hour-and-a-half wait by taking advantage of the playground handily adjacent to the sidewalk. They were in good spirits on their day off, assured of a sugar rush to come. The eclectic crowd was well-mannered—but not without constant management.
"My job description is crowd control," explained Gamaul English, a DŌ employee who was manning the front of the line and telling visitors when they could cross the street to enter the hallowed shop itself. Previously a UPS employee, English was bullish on the dough. "It's worth the wait," he insisted, recommending a peanut-butter flavor.
Are the customers satisfied? Long Island teenagers Olivia Reich, Luca Reich, and Markela Bouris had made DŌ their destination for their day off, exiting the shop with cups of confetti-flavored confections after more than two hours in line.
They all agreed: this was way better. "It doesn't taste like my handmade cookie dough," Luca said. "It's nice and soft."
Meanwhile, Bobby Kubacki and his sister and coworkers from ESPN were taking a late lunch break—on Kubacki's birthday, no less—to test the stuff.
"You can't go wrong with cookie dough," Kubacki admitted. "It's one of my favorites." Plus: "I just want to post it on Instagram." His coworkers agreed he'd be getting way more than 100 likes for the trendy snap. Like the Cronut before it, the siren call of fluffernutter, brownie batter, and chocolate-chip DŌ treats seems poised to dominate the city's landscape of sweets. As Tomlan noted, each weekend has been "outdoing itself" in visitors. So what should potential customers know?
"They should know to get here early and be prepared to stand in line, unfortunately," Tomlan advised.