Mike Evans CookieBot, A Warm Cookie Vending Machine

Mike Evans
Mike Evans, Owner/Operator of Albi CookieBot

At Alibi Cookies in St. Louis’ Dogtown neighborhood, visitors can savor warm cookies with crisp edges and soft centers any time of day – all thanks to a special type of vending machine. #vendingsuccessstory

The concept comes from owner-operator Mike Evans, a longtime Dogtownie who has more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including serving as director of operations for Sauce on the Side. Evans also owns his own DJ and party bus companies, and when business to them slowed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided bring a new, sweeter idea into being.

“While scrolling through Facebook late at night, I saw some videos about Japanese vending machines that carry practically everything,” Evan says. “I thought, ‘I love cookies – what if I put them in a vending machine and keep them warm?’ It turned out to be a huge hit.”

Evans had the vending machines built to his specifications and heated at a constant warm temperature. The 7-foot-tall, 1,100-pound machine, dubbed “CookieBot,” features a touch-screen interface and even the capability for Evans to monitor stock and settings remotely.

Last fall, he debuted the machine in various locations around the metro area with a temporary home at Tamm Avenue Bar. When Evans saw that a neighborhood sandwich shop he frequented, Nora’s, had closed down the street, he knew the time had come to give his cookies their own storefront.

Alibi Cookies’ Dogtown flagship – a 1,200-square-foot brick shop featuring the brand’s red-and-white color scheme and a chalkboard menu – debuted in January, followed by a Jefferson City location in May. A third location is tentatively slated to open in St. Charles this month. Each has or will have its own CookieBot.

The menu currently features around 15 cookies, as well as a chocolate chip brownie option. According to Evans, the cookies all use the same sugar cookie base with different mix-ins. He names as his personal favorite a s’mores cookie with chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.

In addition to standards such as chocolate chunk cookies and snickerdoodles, Alibi Cookies has such options as triple berry, red velvet and specials (think a sprinkle-filled birthday cake cookie with a vanilla buttercream center), all available as singles or in packs. 

They also can be sandwiched with Prairie Farms ice cream in flavors like strawberry cheesecake, mint chocolate chip and cookie dough. Cookie shakes are available, too, with a guest’s choice of two cookies and any ice cream blended.

From the CookieBot, guests can choose from more than a dozen options that are boxed and ready to go, including a five-cookie mystery sampler pack. Simply navigate the touchpad controls, insert payment and have dessert instantly.

“I’m just a small business trying to change the world with cookies,” Evans says. “The warm cookie vending machine was a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to open my own place, and this is just the start for me.” 

Mike Evans, Alibi Cookies, 1136 Tamm Ave., St. Louis, 314-376-4095, alibicookies.com, email Info@AlibiCookies.com.

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