Pittsburgh has made many contributions to America and the world. (You’re welcome.) In this series we explore some of those things that PGH Made first and PGH Made famous.
PGH Made: Eat’n Park Smiley Cookies
In Pittsburgh we come by our friendly nature naturally, but we get our smiles from Eat’n Park. Known as “the place for smiles”, Eat’n Park has been adding grins to our faces since 1949 and smiles to our diet since 1986.
The first Eat’n Park, located on Saw Mill Run Blvd in the South Hills, was the area’s first carhop. Legend has it that they were so popular that they caused a traffic jam on Route 51 (…and the road has yet to fully recover…).
For years they served as the unofficial place for smiles, until 1985 when they opened their first in-house bakery. The treats were good, but something was missing. Enter the Smiley Cookie.
The year was 1986, a good year for smiling cookies, and Eat’n Park’s current President Jim Broadhurst was reminiscing about his childhood in Titusville, PA. He was fondly remembering how every day for a nickel he’d buy a smile-faced cookie from the local bakery, Warner’s Bakery. It brought a smile to his face.
Jim contacted the Warner Bakery, got permission to start making smiling cookies too, and instituted the every-kid’s-dream-come-true practice of giving each kid a free cookie after their meal. Kids smiled. Parents felt left out. So soon enough Eat’n Park started selling dozens of them to those who might be young at heart, but were old enough to pay for them.
In time The Smiley Cookie became the official face of Eat’n Park. Grinning from invisible ear to invisible ear, the sugar-rush-infused Smiley mascot now attends community events, has his own Cookie Cruiser car and Team Smiley crew, and was even iconized as a hot air balloon. Be on the lookout around town for Smiley and his crew because they are always handing out FREE smiley cookies.
Other ways to find these freshbaked, locally made treats? Swing by any one of the 60 physical Eat’n Park locations. Buy them online (and even customize them!) at SmileyCookie.com. Or just run any 5K race around Pittsburgh and at the end you’ll be handed a water, a banana, and an Eat’n Park smiley cookie. Who knows, they may even grace the next Cookie Table you visit! If you host the party, they’ll bring the smiles.
No matter how you ice it, it dozen get any better than an Eat’n Park Smiley Cookie. Now get out there and add a smile to your face.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.