Meet Sawyer Hemsley – the “cookie-man” behind Crumbl

By | May 24, 2024

Sawyer Hemsley is a young American entrepreneur who is best known as the founder of Crumbl, a popular gourmet cookie company. The 32-year-old American started the company while in college thinking it could be a ‘side hustle’. Today, the company brings in a billion dollars every year, and has about 1000 stores across the US and Canada.

Entrepreneur Sawyer Hemsley

Entrepreneur Sawyer Hemsley

Early Life

Sawyer grew up in Preston in Idaho, with siblings- Laken, Brett and Channing. He graduated from Preston High School in 2010, and then moved to Logan, Utah. Here, he obtained a degree in Communication Studies (2015-18) at Utah State University.

He credits his parents, Laurie and Lance, for serving as inspiration and support in his entrepreneurship. His mother Laurie was career-focused, and assisted young women aspiring to win pageants for over two decades.


Sawyer Hemsley with co-founder Jason McGowan

Sawyer Hemsley with co-founder Jason McGowan

The Crumbl Company’s mission is to bring families and friends together over cookies. And in reality, it seems to have brought Sawyer’s family together too. Sawyer and his cousin Jason McGowan started Crumbl Cookies in 2017.

When Sawyer and Jason announced to their family that they were starting a cookie shop, they received less than encouraging response. Their family was unsure of the success of such an idea. But once the store was launched, the family assisted the duo with keen interest.

Today, his parents run a few Crumbl Company franchises. Lance is also estate manager at Hemsley Ventures, another venture founded by Sawyer. Sawyer’s sister Laken Carson runs a franchise too. Sawyer’s brother, Channing Hemsley, is involved in franchise sales. Sawyer’s brother Brett helps develop cookie flavors.

Sawyer credits his mom and the cookies she baked during his childhood as inspiration for many of the cookie flavors Crumbl has introduced.

Sawyer is a pet-parent, and lives with his two dogs, Nilla and Peanut. His dog Nilla inspired a vanilla-flavored cookie, the Nilla bean cupcake cookie. He shared on his social media that he gifted Peanut to his grandma but ended up raising the dog, since his grandma was unable to handle a pet.

Sawyer Hemsley with his pet, Nilla

Sawyer Hemsley with his pet, Nilla


While still a student at Utah State University, Sawyer toyed with the idea of starting a cookie company along with his cousin, Jason McGowan. This was although neither of them had professional baking experience. In September 2017, they opened their first store in Logan, with the idea of selling the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

In 18 months, they expanded to 21 stores. As of February 2024, Crumbl has over 980 stores in the 50 states of the US. They reportedly sold 300 million cookies in 2022.

Sawyer and his team looked beyond the basics, and experimented with cookie varieties. Sawyer’s grounding in marketing helped him in innovation and marketing on social media. With a big following in TikTok, Sawyer launched weekly flavors at Crumbl Cookies, promoted with the hashtag ‘TasteWeekly’. Inspiration for this came from the fashion industry’s weekly drops concept.

Their smart marketing of weekly special flavors, offered as a rotating selection, lured customers to try their flavors. Sawyer himself experiments with most of the new cookie flavors.

While Crumbl opened its 1000th outlet in 2024, it also closed eight stores last year.

Other business ventures

Sawyer launched Hemsley Ventures, with the idea of restoring popular city brands by capitalizing on their nostalgic value. This includes Polar Bear Eats, a popular eatery in Preston that dates back to the 1950s. After closing down in the 2000s, its doors opened back for business in 2023. This was after Hemsley Ventures bought the restaurant and renovated it.

Similarly, in 2022, Hemsley Ventures redeveloped the Hemsley Ranch. It today offers accommodation at mansions at the Ranch, while preserving and celebrating its cowboy traditions.

Other business ventures of Sawyer's Hemsley Ventures include an artisanal cheese brand from Cache Valley, Rockhill Cheese, and a historic estate in Warwick, New York, called the Palmgrove House.

Sawyer’s net worth, according to multiple websites, is said to be around $25 million.

Social Media

Sawyer has effectively leveraged social media to promote his brand and its products extensively. He has a substantial following on Tik-Tok, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. He regularly posts updates about projects he is involved with. He also uses social media often to speak about his personal life journey and experiences.

As is the case with public figures, Sawyer’s online profile attracts both high praise and sharp criticism.

A video of a mansion remodel that Sawyer posted online drew flak for being shared when his company was accused of labor law violation.

A couple of years ago, his posts on TikTok about accepting applications for Mrs Crumbl (a partner for himself), garnered a lot of visibility, and was also criticized. His sexual orientation has been widely spoken about on social media.


Entrepreneur Sawyer Hemsley with Distinguished Alumnus Award from Utah State University

Entrepreneur Sawyer Hemsley with Distinguished Alumnus Award from Utah State University

He was a recipient of the 40 Under 40 award of the Utah Valley Magazine. He was also recognised as a Distinguished Alumnus by Utah State University.

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