‘Something normal’: Girl Scout cookies in high demand in Moffat County for local troops

Melissa Laehr and her daughter Audrey from Troop 16185 sell cookies outside of the Moffat Mercantile. (Max O’Neill / Craig Press)

The Girl Scout Cookie Finder is available for download on the Google Play Store, and the Apple App Store.

As Girl Scout Cookie season moves into full swing, troops in Moffat County — surprisingly — are having a tough time keeping up with the demand. The demand for the sweet treats has created a real excitement amongst the troops in Moffat County as they move to provide some normalcy to the community.

The Girl Scout Cookie industry has not taken a major hit as a result of COVID-19. That is the case at least for Troop 17070 in Craig, according to Ashley Pulliam, who volunteers with her daughter’s troop.

Sales have been steady this winter for Pulliam and the troop have been selling out of cookies. That is something that she attributes partially to COVID.

“We’ve actually been selling out on a few of the boxes and I’ve had to order more probably three times now. So, it’s not affecting us,” Pulliam said. “But I think this is the most normal thing that people have been able to do since COVID and so I think they are almost in more of a demand than normal.”

Prior to the start of the season, Pulliam and troop 17070 put in the hard work of organizing what the season would be like. They made calls to local grocery stores in order to get the booths set up and to order the cookies.

The troops in the Moffat County area are seeing a higher demand than normal for the cookies, according to Pulliam.

“We are definitely seeing a higher demand for cookies,” Pulliam said. “Like I said previously, some troops are just selling online, but we are selling door to door and online.”

That is not the case all around the state however as some troops in Steamboat Springs have declined to sell because of COVID, while others in Garfield County aren’t allowed to sell in front of local grocery stores. The decision to not sell cookies this year was not under consideration by troop 17070.

“No, not really,” Pulliam said. “This is my daughter’s first year and the troop that we formed this year there is only four of them. So we’re a pretty small troop. [COVID] has affected us, maybe not [with] cookie sales, but it has affected us because we have been doing our Girl Scout meetings over Zoom instead of in person.”

One of the annual traditions for Girl Scout troops around the country is to sell to customers as they visit local supermarkets. Much like others across the country, Troop 17070 will have to adjust its storefront sales due to a decision by City Market.

“We will probably be doing two [tables] in front of Walmart,” Pulliam said. “City Market has declined to let us do it this year because of COVID.”

Some troops around the country have put together drive-thru cookie booths, Melissa Laehr’s troop 16185 is not going to do that, instead opting for regular in-person booths in front of Wal-Mart.

While the pandemic has not slowed down the ability for Pulliam and the troop to replenish their supply, weather has played a factor. The troop gets their cookies from a vendor in Denver, which causes the promptness with which they get more boxes to be determined by driving conditions.

Every industry has had to adapt, including the Girl Scout cookie industry. The industry has had to make technological adjustments in regards to selling more cookies online rather than in person.

“Well, I know a lot of troops are doing more ordering online instead of door to door because of COVID. I am guessing that when we do door to door they are wanting us to wear masks and all that,” Pulliam said. “But I know a lot of people are just doing it online now because of COVID.”

The troops have started selling cookies on an app and allowing people to pay with cards for the first time. Usually, the troops only allow cash and check but as a result of COVID, they are now allowed to accept credit and debit cards. The Girl Scout Cookie Finder app allows customers to take out their phone and buy cookies by scanning the troop’s QR code.

“I do think the digital app has increased people buying because people who didn’t have cash on them before, we would have to say, sorry cash or check,” Laehr said.

“However, now we can take a credit or debit card too and so I think that has increased sales.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened sales in some areas, it has not dampened enthusiasm for selling cookies and getting their badges among local troops

“The girls are really excited and we had to reserve certain days for the booth space and they keep asking when we can do the booth, that they are ready and wanna sell all their cookies to get their badges,” Pulliam said. “They can’t wait.”

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