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Customers wait in a long line outside Eileen’s Colossal Cookies on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Cheyenne. The longtime cookie shop is closing its doors, and fans came to get one last snack. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – One of Cheyenne’s favorite places to get cookies unexpectedly closed its doors for good Thursday, but not before a line of customers descended upon the store for one last treat.

Eileen’s Colossal Cookies unexpectedly announced on its Facebook page Thursday it would be shutting its doors due to unforeseen circumstances. The Cheyenne location had been in operation for 25 years, and regularly participated in fundraising with Laramie County School District 1 and other organizations.

Keith Bellis, who has owned the store for the past 10 years, said he had worked to sell the business over the past few months, but wasn’t able to find any buyers. He said an illness and other circumstances meant keeping the shop open was just impossible for him.

“There were some unforeseen circumstances, and closing it was just the right thing to do,” Bellis said. “It’s been a long time coming for this decision. I’ve had the shop on the market and tried to get a new owner. And not being able to sell it, it’s just to the point health-wise and financially, I can’t do it any longer.”

While someone might open up another Eileen’s franchise in Cheyenne, he said he wouldn’t be returning to run the business.

“There’s always a chance of someone picking up the franchise, if they’d like to. But as far as me opening back up, this will be it for me,” Bellis said.

When Bellis made the announcement on the store’s Facebook page Thursday, it produced an outpouring of comments expressing dismay over the closure and well-wishers supporting Bellis. And that love online was matched by a stream of customers who showed up at the shop in the Cheyenne Plaza on East Lincolnway to show their support and get one last cookie.

Gemini Mathew said by the time she and her friend learned about the closure and made it to the store, there was already a line out the door. But they were happy to wait to have one final treat from a store she said was a part of the town for so long.

“This is part of everyone’s history. Everyone grew up with these cookies. So it’s going to be hard to say goodbye,” Mathew said.

Pernisha Hayes said when it came to chocolate chip cookies, Eileen’s was the best in town because they were consistently delicious.

“If you wanted good cookies, you knew where to go in town,” Hayes said. “That’s why we’re all standing in line.”

Bellis, a Cheyenne native, was effusive in his thanks for all the support the city had given him and the store.

“We really appreciate our faithful customers and friends we’ve made over the last 25 years. We’ll miss each and every one of them.”

WTE photographer Michael Cummo contributed to this story.

Ramsey Scott is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s state government reporter. He can be reached at 307-633-3124 or rscott@wyomingnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @RamseyWyoming.

Ramsey Scott is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s state government reporter. He can be reached at 307-633-3124 or rscott@wyomingnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @RamseyWyoming.

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