Thirteen-year-old Ocean City resident Arkadia McCray peered into the glass counter at Custo Cookie and debated over her cookie toppings.

After a few minutes, she made her selection: mint chips, broken pieces of a Kit Kat and rainbow sprinkles.

"You wouldn't believe how creative people are," said Custo Cookie co-owner Ray Hastings as he watched McCray add the sprinkles to her square-shaped cookie.

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Custo Cookie is a new business at 825a Asbury Avenue in Ocean City. But it's not a cookie cutter kind of bakery.

First, the cookies are square, not round, and called sqookies. Second, customers get to customize their own sweet treats, picking the sauce and toppings and putting it on themselves.

The business model is much like that of the create-your-own self-serve frozen yogurt craze, but with cookies instead of frozen yogurt, Hastings said.

Hastings came up with the business concept with his mom and business partner, Diane Hastings, both residents Haddon Heights, Camden County, with a summer home in Ocean City.

Ray said his mom has always been known for her cookie baking. "She'd always bring cookies to my baseball games, bake them whenever I had friends over, for the holidays." So when the two decided they wanted to start a business together, opening a cookie shop was the natural choice. But still they wanted to be different, Ray said, hence Custo Cookie.

"It's very good," said McCray, who made a last- minute decision to add ice cream to her sqookie. "I'll be in here a lot."

Contact Elisa Lala:


Custo Cookie

825a Asbury Ave., Ocean City. 609-231-4397

Delivery of a minimum of a dozen cookie is available throughout Ocean City. Online shipping orders are also available nationwide.

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