The day has finally arrived: those sugary, sweet, crunchy, soft, delightful (and, yes, fattening--especially if you eat a whole box in one sitting) Girl Scout cookies are hitting the streets. Last week we tried the new flavor, Savannah Smiles, and gave a review. This week, we provide weird facts -- like just the first shipment to South Florida, where about $2 million was earned last year from cookie sales, fills five warehouses. Here's more:
- Girl Scout Cookie sales began in 1917.
- In the 1920s and 1930s, a dozen cookies sold for 25 to 30 cents per dozen. Last year the cost per box was raised to $4. They had been $3.50 for a decade prior.
- In the 1950s, Sandwich, Shortbread and Chocolate Mints were the only flavors available.
- Yes, you diehards can even buy cookie pens, bookmarks, dog tags, stickers, t-shirts, and even scented pierced earrings on the site.
- Keep an eye out for Daisies (grades K-1) and Brownies (2nd and 3rd graders), along with Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (11th and 12th graders): they all sell cookies.
- Eleven cookie varieties are available today, though the only ones available in Miami are Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Dulce de Leche, Savannah Smiles, and Thank You Berry Munch.
- Some cookies have two names since they are made by different bakers: Samoas are also known as Caramel deLites, Do-si-dos are Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Tagalongs are Peanut Butter Patties, Trefoils are also Shortbreads.
- All the cookies sold in South Florida are certified kosher dairy.
- It takes five warehouses to store the first shipment of cookies.
- Last year the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida sold 37,364 cases (with 12 boxes in each case). This year their goal is 40,000.
- Yes, Girl Scouts do sell other things (no, not beer, porn, nor bacon either, Ms. Doss): magazines, nuts, and chocolates go in the fall. Obviously they're not nearly as successful.
- The Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida's annual budget is $3.5 million. More than half of that is contingent on cookie sales. Approximately $1 from each $4 box goes directly back to the troop.
- No, you can't buy them online. But you can find them being sold outside most Publixs, Winn-Dixies and Walgreens (don't forget to upload the app). Wal-Mart and Brandsmart aren't as Girl Scout cookie-friendly.
- Don't bitch about the price. Hawaiians pay $5 box. Our $4 cost is the lowest in the country.
- Us Short Order folks aren't picky with regards to flavors so feel free to donate boxes of whatever you like best.
And, just for the record, this year marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting so expect to see lots of fundraising events this fall... unfortunately none of them are purported to involve cookies, though.
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(Special thanks to Lance Balding, director of development and communications for Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida, for the samples and Cookie Director Eva Berbrick for the 411.)