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Updates on new cookie shop downtown and new ownership for SpringHill Suites


Excuse me while I make my way through these piles of spent party streamers, empty firework tubes and the rows of cannons from the 21-gun salute. (I assume you held a similar impromptu celebration as your kids walked out the door for the first day of school.)

Well, now I understand there is another way to celebrate the glorious event: Home delivery of cookies and milk.

We reported last month that a Columbia Mo.-based company called Hot Box Cookies would be setting up shop in downtown Lawrence. Indeed it has. Hot Box Cookies opened last week in the space at 732 Massachusetts St., the former home of 3 Spoons Frozen Yogurt.

But what I didn't know about the business last month is that it aims to do for cookies what Dominoes did for pizza.

"We deliver cookies that are hot and milk that is cold," said Lauren Critchfield, director of marketing and social media for Hot Box. "We think we're one of the only cookie delivery services in the nation."

The company does have a $12 minimum for delivery orders, but Critchfield, being in marketing and all, notes that is only six cookies and two milks.

"That sounds like the perfect meal," she said.

It sounds like I need to find my pants with the elastic waistband.

The business aims to do good walk-in business at its downtown store as well. The store plans to be open from 11 a.m. to midnight on most days, though on Friday and Saturdays during the school year, it likely will be open until 2 a.m. to accommodate the bar crowd.

The shop features about a dozen types of cookies, with most ranging from $1 to $1.25 apiece. Also on the menu is milk, milkshakes, chocolate chip cookie cakes, and frozen cookie dough pucks that you can take home and bake later. (I was supposed to bake them?)

The shop also offers ice cream sandwiches, where you pick your cookies and they make the sandwich.

"It is like a Klondike Bar on steroids," Critchfield said. (I wonder if they are going to name it an A-Rod sandwich, although to be fair, we don't know if this cookie crumbles in the playoffs.)

The Lawrence location is the first one for Hot Box outside of Columbia. Critchfield said the store's owners were visiting Lawrence one day and fell in love with Massachusetts Street.

"We think this is just the first link in the chain," Critchfield said of the company's expansion plans. "It is a growing business. People love cookies because they are simple and they are a taste of home."


The perfect dinner of six cookies and two glasses of milk, I'm finding, may make you a little groggy.

Well, downtown Lawrence still has a Springhill Suites by Marriott for sleeping it off. Also last month, we reported that the hotel near Sixth and New Hampshire streets had sold. As we said at the time, all signs were pointing to the likelihood that the property would remain a SpringHill Suites by Marriott.

Recently, I've gotten in touch with one of the members of the new ownership group, and he has confirmed it.

"This is actually one of my favorite properties out of the whole portfolio that we purchased," said Clyde Johnson, chief investment officer for the BC Lynd group that purchased the hotel and five others from Overland Park-based Capital Management Inc.

Johnson said the Marriott flag will remain on the property, and he said most of the changes will involve bringing some of the management ideas he and his partners have used while developing more full-service, upscale properties for other hotel groups. While with another company, Johnson was involved with the management of the Hilton President in downtown Kansas City, and other Johnson County full service hotels.

"I think this hotel has a lot of potential because of its uniqueness," Johnson said of the property, which offers room views of the Kansas River. "I think the ballrooms are underutilized. We will actively market them to the community."

San Antonio-based BC Lynd operates about 1,000 hotel rooms across the country following the latest purchase.


onceajhawkalwaysajhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

Hotbox cookies lost my business when I smelled a tiger in the kitchen...Keep it in Columbia!

gatekeeper 4 years, 10 months ago

I won't boycott a business that sells all Kansas things, but I will boycott a Columbia, MO based business.

PhilChiles 4 years, 10 months ago

I've lived in both Columbia and Lawrence. They're basically the same town; both little college town oases surrounded by Midwest countryside. I know that the rivalry thing is fun and makes life a little more interesting, but it doesn't actually mean anything. If you still carry a grudge after the game, you come off looking like a maniac. It's just a game maaaaan

Frank A Janzen 4 years, 10 months ago

My friend who lives in Columbia says there have been some shootings near the downtown area and folks are told to stay away from those areas. That doesn't sound like Lawrence at all.

lucyjj 4 years, 10 months ago

I remember when All Star Dairy sold chocolate chip cookie dough that restaurants would buy for baking. Many never made it to the oven where I worked. The dough was delicious frozen. Of course, the hot, baked cookie was fantastic too!

archazard 4 years, 10 months ago

I think it is awesome that someone from Columbia loves downtown Lawrence. Typically they want to or do burn it down.

"The Lawrence location is the first one for Hot Box outside of Columbia. Critchfield said the store's owners were visiting Lawrence one day and fell in love with Massachusetts Street."

Ken Lassman 4 years, 10 months ago

It's been 150 years since the sacking of Lawrence and the resulting clearing of Missouri border counties. What most Lawrencians neglect to remember about the 1863 sacking of Lawrence was that it was preceded by Senator Jim Lane's sacking of Osceola 2 years earlier, where all but 3 of the 800 buildings were burned and 9 men rounded up were summarily executed. Here's what happened 2 years ago when Osceola celebrated its 150 anniversary: (from Wikipedia):

"The town was the site of the September 1861 Sacking of Osceola by Jayhawkers in which the town was burned and its courthouse looted. The event inspired the 1976 Clint Eastwood film The Outlaw Josey Wales. Prior to the attack the town had a population of around 2,500. However less than 200 residents remained after the event and the population has never again approached those numbers. In September, 2011 lingering bad feelings over the raid and the sesquicentennial of the event prompted the Osceola Board of Aldermen to pass a resolution asking the University of Kansas to no longer use "Jayhawk" as their mascot and nickname. Further, the resolution asks Missouri residents to stop spelling Kansas or KU with a capital letter because "neither is a proper name or a proper place" For more details check this out: http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/state/missouri/town-in-missouri-using-name-change-request-to-educate-about-civil-war

On the other end of Lawrence being sacked, don't forget that almost immediately 4 counties that border Kansas on the Missouri side were basically ethnically cleansed, with every rural homestead and small town burned to the ground, creating ironically a staging ground for guerillas on both sides of the developing conflict to operate more freely, living off abandoned farm animals and root cellars that were left behind during the hasty evacuations. For more details, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Order_No.11%281863%29

So give it all a rest. It's time to start building bridges between the two universities and give up these 150-152 year old grudges, lest we perpetuate the pain and suffering of our ancestors in the same way as has happened in Serbia, Kosovo, Jerusalem and Chechnya. Lawrence and Columbia have far more in common with each other than what separates us, and I for one will be lining up to celebrate those good ideas from both places by buying fresh baked cookies from this store when it opens. If we can relieve a history of tense relations between China and the US with a ping pong/table tennis tournament, why not do the same with a cookie store?

5thStPhoggers 4 years, 10 months ago

Atrocities were committed by both sides. What you fail to mention is that Missouri was proslavery while Kansas was a free state. If Kansans hadn't fought for the right to be free, Missourians would have suceeded in making Kansas Territory a slave state and our legacy would be the same as theirs. Border ruffians and slavers stuffing ballot boxes and staking illegal claims at gunpoint. That is what separates us. Now what is it exactly we have in common again?

Ken Lassman 4 years, 10 months ago

Some of what we have in common is both Missouri and Kansas, Columbia and Lawrence, are anti-slavery now and have been for over a hundred years. Both of Columbia and Lawrence house flagship universities for our respective states, both have a vital local culture, both of us are a place for new ideas to be tried out, and both play a central role in our respective economic futures.

Furthermore, both towns can choose to define each other and themselves by the misdeeds of our respective ancestors, or we can choose to build on our common potential, our educational and institutional prowess, which, if we choose to collaborate, could have the potential to be more than the sum of the parts, even. Casting each other as reviled enemies has outlived its usefulness, even in sports since we no longer are part of the same conference. I say this as a lifelong Lawrencian who attended KU and call myself a Jayhawk. Why not let it all go and join me?

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