A loud ding has become the sweet sound of success for girl scouts looking to sell their popular cookies during a pandemic. 

"They ordered one thin mint, one s'mores," said Aarna Mahale with Tustin Troop #4591 while staring at a small electronic tablet.

What You Need To Know

  • Grubhub is collaborating with Girl Scouts to offer cookie delivery

  • Local Girl Scouts track and fulfill orders while managing inventory

  • Money stays local to support future troop activities

  • Overall, sales and memberships are down, but online sales have boomed during pandemic

Mahale and her mom are at one of three Grubhub distribution centers in Orange County, fulfilling orders and waiting for drivers to up their goods. Last year, Mahale said he sold about 900 boxes and has the badge to prove it. This year everything has changed due to the pandemic.

"It's virtual and everything. I've kind of set it lower," she said.

At last check, she has sold more than 300 boxes.

"I've been messaging my friends, and my mom has been selling to her colleagues at work," Mahale said.

Grubbub driver Sandra Ehrman said she is happy to be making these special deliveries.

"It's much safer than having to be on street corners or walking door to door," Ehrman said.

She was even given a box of her favorite cookies for the ride home.

"We love these thin mints, and my husband will love them too," Ehrman laughed.

Once an order comes in, one girl writes it down and bags the cookies. Then, she runs them out to another girl at a table who double-checks that it is correct. Ordering through Grubhub has proven to be popular with those who do not have a direct connection to the Girl Scouts.

"More people can buy cookies this way, and it's easy," said Morgan Reigle with Tustin Troop #4591.

The Girl Scouts of Orange County said while sales are down overall, online sales are through the roof. Without standing outside stores this year or door-to-door sales, the girls have had to get creative. 

"A lot of girls are putting out signs. They are putting out door hangers for their neighbors where they can order from a door hanger. They can go to their website, or there's a QR code that they can scan," said Spokeswoman Caron Berkley with the Girls Scouts of Orange County.

While the cookies bring joy to millions of people each year, they also provide much-needed experience and support for the girls and their troops.

"It's business and money management. It is marketing. It's also funding their activities for the year ahead," Berkley said.

New this year is the "Toast-Yay!" cookie.

"This is a French toast-inspired cookie which has an icing flavor on the outside and hints of maple," Berkley explained.

It is also the last year for customers to get their fill of the s'mores, but no matter which cookie people prefer, the girls are working hard behind the scenes to connect customers with their cookies across the miles.

Other ways to order include www.girlscoutcookies.org, or text COOKIES to 58618, or use the free official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app on iOS or Android.

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