It’s 1:30 a.m. and you and your roommate are up cramming for an exam. You’re craving something sugary and sweet to keep you alert and awake, but don’t feel like leaving the apartment to hunt down something to your liking, which is also still open at this hour.
Enter MidKnight Munches.
This recently launched baked goods delivery service delivers straight to the doorstep of thousands of students around the UCF area. With a minimum order purchase of $6, within the hour, you can have warm chocolate chip cookies or one of their most popular treats, a “slutty” brownie, in your hands without ever leaving your apartment.
From the outside, you would never guess that the MidKnight Munchies kitchen was inside a closed down restaurant in the same complex as the popular bar, Knight’s Pub. But as soon as you walk in the door, you’re immediately greeted with the aroma of fresh baked cookies and brownies that makes your mouth water and can only be associated with the happiest of feelings.
The kitchen of the closed down restaurant is the size on an average apartment living room and serves as the makeshift MidKnight Munchies bakery and office. Its burgundy tiled floors and neutral painted walls are filled with shiny silver machinery that was left behind by the previous owners. On one side of the kitchen, you’ll find two industrial sized ovens and a few freezers about 7 feet tall, which are about the only appliances that MidKnight Munchies uses. On the other side, you’ll find all the different varieties of cookies and brownies placed neatly in Tupperware containers in their respective spots marked with red duct tape labels.
Next to the cookies, a surface is cleared for the manager on duty. The manager takes phone calls, organizes the orders, and keeps track of online and app orders. A phone, computer, and iPad are set up next to each other for optimal organization and efficiency. When the manager takes the order, he enters the information into a document that can be shared with all the drivers so they have access to the correct address, order, and phone number for the customer.
Drivers, who wear signature MidKnight Munchies tanks with clever slogans, fill the orders, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in a small brown box with a sticker logo on top. They then take two or three orders at a time with them, depending on how busy the night is. Week nights are usually busiest from 9-10:30 p.m., then pick up again a bit later in the night, while weekends are slow in the beginning, but turn into full force around 11 p.m. There are usually five or six people working each night: a manager, a baker, and drivers.
“Sometimes we’ll have a back-up on orders because so many people will be requesting the slutty brownie,” said manager, Christian Ostolaza.
The “slutty brownie” is by far MidKnight Munchie’s best-selling item. This treat is a warm, chocolate fudge brownie that contains both oreos and cookie dough throughout. The decadent treat pleases your taste buds in indescribable ways. Other treats include the basic chocolate chip cookie, mint chocolate brownie, snickerdoodle, and many more options to satisfy your baked goods needs.
In order to keep customers happy, orders need to be fulfilled as soon as possible.
“The hardest part is keeping the orders to the fastest delivery speed possible. There’s so many factors that go into how long the orders take,” explained Ostolaza.
“The business has been extremely challenging and I have faced many obstacles such as: having practically no money to start with, figuring out a permanent location, getting all of the proper inspections and permits, trying to find the right staff, and balancing the load between being a full-time student and owning a business open 7 days a week.”
But there’s still plenty of fun to be had with the employees at MidKnight Munchies. “The best part is probably the people that we get to work with here. It makes it less like work and more just hanging out, even though it’s still a job. It’s also really cool to be a part of something started by two UCF students that has done so well and has been so successful,” said Ostolaza, who first started as a driver, then worked his way up to manager.
“We’ve seen some crazy people around here or even when we’re out on deliveries,” said driver Tim Nightingale.
One story includes an inebriated college student stumbling over to the MidKnight Munchies building, while babbling on about useless information, while another driver remembers seeing someone passed out naked in the bushes.
“We get a lot of post-Pub people. If we weren’t open for pick-up, it would probably be slightly more calm, but definitely less interesting,” commented Ostolaza about the MidKnight Munchies location.
Adzima is just happy to please his fellow students. He loves seeing all the positive feedback on Twitter and Facebook.
“My favorite part of MidKnight Munchies is the genuine happiness and enjoyment that we have brought to the student population at UCF. If I can positively influence people through this platform, then I am pleased,” said Adzima.
Although nothing is set in stone yet, keep your eyes peeled for a possible menu expansion including fried foods, like mozzarella sticks, fries, and chicken tenders.
Adzima sums up MidKnight Munchies as “a student run company that sells delicious sweets, beverages, and other food items with the aim of turning a bad day into a great one, a frown into a smile, and a place that gives the UCF population a unique and memorable experience.”
So next time you’re feeling the craze for something sweet and delicious, call up MidKnight Munchies and surrender to the slutty brownie.