HATBORO >> Kathleen Lochel, owner of Lochel’s Bakery in Hatboro, says her campaign cookies have become a “viral” sensation with just weeks until the 2020 general election.
“I’m almost speechless. I can’t even find the right word for it,” Lochel said Friday morning. “It’s taken on a whole magnitude of its own.”
The bakery, located at 57 S. York Road, has honored the election-themed cookie tradition for the past three presidential elections. It first began during the 2008 election when Barack Obama and John McCain were both vying for the White House.
It continued on during the races in 2012, 2016 and now, 2020.
Four years ago, Lochel estimated nearly 1,000 cookies sold. This year, in the contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the bakery has already sold 6,000 cookies and anticipates the total could approach 20,000 by Nov. 3.
“I think that the election itself is very popular,” she said. “So … seeing something with the candidate's name, I think that’s the thrill of it for many people per se.”
The Hatboro confectionery has designated “four-inch sugar cookies” complete with icing, “jimmies” and an “edible image” for each candidate, according to Lochel. The colors correspond with the nominee’s specific political parties: blue for “Biden 2020” and red for “Trump 2020.”
The cookies got some added attention with a visit from Eric Trump, who tweeted, "I was in Philadelphia today and decided to stop by the incredible Lochel’s bakery in nearby Hatboro. Here is the latest tally: Cookies Sold: Trump - 3,754 Biden - 1,602." The president's son's tweet also got Lochel's featured on FoxNews, which could drive cookie sales even higher than the thousands antcipated.
Creating the treat is quite an intensive process from making the dough to assembling the cookie to presenting the finished product, Lochel said.
In addition to her own staff, Lochel said she enlisted her friends who don “masks and gloves” to help keep up with increased demand.
Cookies sell for $4.49 a piece. According to a post on the Hatboro shop’s Facebook page, there’s a limit of six cookies per person that must be purchased at the bakery. Additionally, two customers are permitted to be inside the store at a given time as store operators are complying with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Customers of all ages and political parties have traveled from across the region to get their hands on the Trump and Biden cookies. Lochel added she’s “seen people come [from] two-to-three hours away,” and the bakery has shipped orders to California and Hawaii.
When asked who’s in the lead so far, Lochel said the sitting president.
“Donald Trump is winning in the cookie race right now,” she said. “In the past 24 hours, we’ve seen a lot more [Joe] Biden orders than we previously did. So I don’t know what the outcome will be.”
Lochel stressed that her business is a nonpartisan establishment.
“I just want to make it known to everybody that the bakery is not endorsing a candidate,” she said. “We’re not funding campaigns, nothing of that sort. We’re just holding onto our business.
“For seven months we didn’t know what was going to happen to us,” she said, of the effects of the pandemic on her small business from March until September.
The election-themed cookies have helped revive the bakery.
As to who will prevail in cookie sales and votes, Lochel said it's all a guess.
“It’s unscientific. … If Joe Biden wins, congratulations,” she said. “If Trump wins, congratulations, but I think the big winner here is that we continue to employ our staff and [go] on with our business.”