'We found Amy': Viral social media plea helps cookie chain track down 1st customer after 22 years

Erin Donnelly
·4-min read
Leon and Tiffany Chen (pictured in 1999 in inset, and in present day) have tracked down their first Tiff's Treats customer. (Photo: Courtesy of Tiff's Treats)
Leon and Tiffany Chen (pictured in 1999 in inset, and in present day) have tracked down their first Tiff's Treats customer. (Photo: Courtesy of Tiff's Treats)

The Texas couple behind the popular cookie delivery service Tiff’s Treats wanted to mark their 22nd anniversary of being in business by celebrating their very first paying customer. But first, they had to track her down.

On Jan. 4, owners Leon and Tiffany Chen — who launched their business while students at The University of Texas in Austin after Leon was wowed over by a batch his then-girlfriend, Tiffany, had baked to make up for standing him up on a date — tasked their social media followers with helping them identify and find the fellow UT student who ordered their cookies for her boyfriend back in 1999. The couple had plastered their campus with flyers advertising “hot, fresh cookies” delivered “right to your door,” but it took about three days for an actual order to come in.

Though the Chens say that first order was the motivation they needed to get their cookie deliveries off the ground, they remembered scant details about the woman in question: just an outdated dorm room address, a hair color (blonde) and a name (Amy). It wasn’t much to go on, but their plea soon went viral, prompting dozens of leads to be sent their way.

On Monday, three weeks after their search started, the couple announced that, lo and behold, they’d found the Amy in question — despite her living overseas.

Speaking to Yahoo Life, the Chens — who married in 2010 and have 6-year-old twins — shared their surprise at the supportive, widespread response their Amy hunt received.

“We literally thought it would be one post and that was it,” Leon said. “We thought, maybe there’s a 50-50 shot somebody would come forward and say that they knew Amy or they were Amy.

“There’s something about right now where people need something that isn’t scary, isn’t anxious, isn’t divisive, and it really did come at the right time for people,” he added. “For some reason, people latched on to this and we just got a flood — a flood — of calls, emails and messages, more than we ever expected to get.”

While plenty of cookie fans were happy to play detective, some leads didn’t quite pan out — until they heard from a woman who suspected that Amy might be the sister of her best friend, a former UT student who had lived in that particular dorm during that time period. Because that woman now lives in Europe, it took a while for the Chens to make contact with her directly, receive photos and confirm that, yes, she is the Amy they’ve been seeking.

Out of consideration for Amy — who they say has been “such a good sport” regarding the unexpected “media storm” that’s landed at her feet — the Chens aren’t sharing many details about her private life. What they will disclose is that she’s now a married mom of two living overseas because her husband is in the Green Berets.

That husband, incidentally, is not the boyfriend college-aged Amy treated to the cookie order all those years ago. “She did not stay with that boyfriend,” Tiffany confirmed, noting that many of the people following the Amy search had wondered about the status of that relationship.

“She says she remembered him not sharing the cookies,” Leon added with a laugh.

Though her full identity remains a secret, Amy did share a current photo and record a voice message — included in the Tiff’s Treats post announcing her discovery — recounting her cookie-buying experience.

“I saw this really sweet flyer, and it spoke to me as just being very genuine,” Amy recalled. “And I called, and little did I know I was ordering cookies from Tiffany and Leon, and it was their first order. And I’m really proud of them, their hard work and their entrepreneurship. I did not know that my order inspired them in any way to keep going. I wish them all the best luck.”

She and the Chens also stressed the importance of being kind, explaining that you never know what impact you might have on another human. In the case of Tiff’s Treats, it’s motivating the Chens to build their extracurricular cookie delivery service — a novelty in the days before UberEats and DoorDash — into a successful chain with more than 60 locations across Texas and in cities including Nashville, Atlanta and Charlotte.

“This was just one order and one interaction, but it was so meaningful to us,” Tiffany says in the video message to followers.

One last act of kindness: Though the Chens had offered Amy a year’s worth of free cookies as a thank you, she decided to pass that on to a local nonprofit, Foster Angels of Central Texas, which works to meet the needs of children living in foster care.

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