Best sweet stuff


Matthew Brown

Insomnia Cookies sells several different items, including cookie cakes. Insomnia Cookies was nominated for multiple Best of Kent awards and is located at 295 S. Water Street.

Adriana Gasiewski, Reporter

FIRST: Insomnia Cookies

Open late for midnight snacking college students, Insomnia Cookies offers a variety of cookies and sweet treats to fit in a college-student budget. 

The bakery chain was founded by then-college student Seth Berkowitz in 2003, and the Kent location features the smell of sweet, fresh cookies right as the shop’s door opens. 

Friends stop by for dessert after a meal downtown or at the dining hall, or they even come by for a pick-me-up during the day. 

“My favorite part of coming to Insomnia cookies is that it has a sweet, warm vibe to it regardless of the time of day,” said Aisha Ahammed, a freshman computer science major. 

Ahammed recalled a time when the cookies provided much-needed comfort. 

“I could walk downtown at 1am in the cold with a heartbroken friend and get the best chocolate chunk cookies to cheer us up.”

Other Insomnia sweet treats include ice cream, ice cream cookie sandwiches, cookie cakes and cookie packs. Sides of icing are also available. 

Sophia Sainato, a sophomore digital media production major, said the deluxe chocolate peanut butter cup cookie is her favorite menu item.  

“I like Insomnia cause it was a really great place for me and my old roommate to go,” she said.

Grace Cleary, a first-year studio art major, picked another specific combination. 

“My favorite is the deluxe confetti cookie,” Cleary said.

Insomnia Cookies also offers three vegan cookie options, including the classic chocolate chip cookie. Freshman visual communication design major Jessica Dunbrack, who is gluten intolerant, said she takes advantage of the options. 

“I’m really glad that they have a gluten free option,” she said.

SECOND: Rocco’s Cupcake Café

Rocco’s Cupcake Cafe´ features homemade cupcake options and is a specialty cupcake shop located on Water Street in downtown Kent. 

It was founded by Kent alumna Michela Rocco and has been open since Feb.4 of this year. 

The caf sells twelve flavors of cupcakes everyday. Ten of those cupcake flavors are permanent flavors customers can purchase year round. The other two flavors are the shop’s cupcake of the month and a cupcake of the day. 

Permanent flavors include lemon drop, cinnamon roll and turtle cupcakes. 

Rocco said her favorite cupcakes are the chocolate peanut butter and birthday cake, which are two permanent staples. 

Rocco’s Cupcake Café offers several different types of cupcakes, including this red velvet cupcake dyed green for the month of March. Rocco’s Cupcake Café was nominated as one of the winners for multiple categories of Best of Kent and is located at 295 S. Water St. (Matthew Brown)

The chocolate peanut butter cupcake is a customer favorite according to Joelle Scalzo, Rocco’s mother and an employee at the business. That option is a buttercream-meringue hybrid. 

“It’s nice and fluffy and not too sweet,” Scalzo said.

Customers can sit at the high table against one wall of the shop or relax on the couch and play board games. 

Scalzo said she enjoys working at Rocco’s Cupcake Café. 

“I love coming in here,” she said. “It’s a really happy place. People are happy to come in. They’re thrilled to see all the beautiful cupcakes and to have a sweet treat. There’s no stress. It’s a nice little environment to work in.” 

Roccos said the Kent community has taken a quick liking to Rocco’s sweet treats and inviting atmosphere. 

THIRD: Popped!

Located in Acorn Alley, Popped! first popped open its doors in Kent in January 2012. 

Popped! is a specialty chocolates and popcorn store founded by Gwen Rosenberg. The store is a family owned and operated local business.

The stores’ busiest times are during weekends and holidays, especially winter holidays.

“Business has been good recently especially with Christmas and Valentine’s Day,” said Popped! employee Connor McLaughlin.

Popped! uses fresh ingredients and its own recipes when making all of its products, said owner and operator Aaron Rosenberg. 

McLaughlin said one the most popular products at Popped! is its signature caramel popcorn, which customers can smell instantly as they walk through the business’ doors.

Customers also stop by for the spot’s handmade chocolate products.

Popped! features a variety of different popcorn types, including kettle corn. Popped! was nominated for the “Best Sweet Stuff” category for Best of Kent and is located at 138 E. Main St. (Matthew Brown)

“Customers love our chocolate covered sea salt caramels, peanut butter squares, and chocolate drizzled caramel popcorn and our classic black squirrel crunch popcorn,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg said the store is popular because its products appeal to all ages. 

“Our popcorn and chocolates are for everyone,” he said. “We love Kent State students and staff and special orders for KSU. We are proud to support our local community.”

Adriana Gasiewski is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]