Francis, 29, launched Captain Cookie with a food truck in 2012. He eventually added a second truck but said a storefront was always in the back of his mind.
Captain Cookie takes over the approximately 500-square-foot space formerly occupied by ice cream parlor Cone E. Island in the Shops at 2000 Penn.
Francis makes all the cookie dough at a commercial kitchen in Northeast. But because there's nothing like the taste and smell of freshly baked cookies, they'll be coming out of the oven at the shop. During his busy season, Francis said he can go through a ton -- as in 2,000 pounds -- of dough a week. (He also supplies dough for baking to Thomas Foolery in Dupont Circle.)
"Now I assume it'll be more," he said.
The regular cookie lineup consists of chocolate chip, Nutella, peanut butter, snickerdoodle, ginger molasses, oatmeal raisin and a vegan chocolate chip, for which Francis makes his own vegan butter. There's a weekly special cookie as well: this week, it's pumpkin walnut. Trickling Springs supplies the milk and ice cream, which can be sandwiched between two cookies. Coffee, milkshakes and house-made sodas are available as well.
Even Francis, a cookie baker since the age of 4, was surprised at the way the GW community had turned out in the shop's first few days. He had to make a dough run on Wednesday after running out of a few flavors of cookies.
"They evaporate," he said.
For his part, Francis eats about six a day.
Captain Cookie & the Milk Man, 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-556-3396. www.captaincookiedc.com. Open 6 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturdays.