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And the new 2020 Girl Scout cookie flavor is ...

Online sales start Sunday, cookies arrive Feb. 14

Mari Hartmann, 8, of Cedar Rapids, was a #x201c;super seller#x201d; of Girl Scout Cookies last year, selling 800 boxes o
Mari Hartmann, 8, of Cedar Rapids, was a “super seller” of Girl Scout Cookies last year, selling 800 boxes of cookies. Girl Scout cookie sales start Sunday with the Digital Cookie Platform, which allows Girl Scouts members to create an online pitch with words, photos and video. (submitted photo)
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Selling Girl Scout Cookies involves important skills, including developing a sales pitch, introducing yourself to strangers and handling rejection.

“I kind of like to go around the neighborhood because it’s nice to meet people in our area and find out what they like and what they don’t like,” said Aleria Neff, 9, of Ely. “When they don’t buy cookies I just feel OK. Some people don’t really like cookies.”

But enough folks love Girl Scout Cookies, including Samoas, Trefoils and, of course, Thin Mints, for the organization to sell about 200 million boxes a year, the Wall Street Journal reported in April. Money raised pays for troop activities as well as local councils.

The 2020 cookie sales season starts Sunday with sales through the Digital Cookie platform. The platform allows Girl Scouts members to create an online pitch with words, photos and even video they may share with family and friends through emails and social media.

“We have family in lots of places around the country and around the continent,” said Jen Hartmann, of Cedar Rapids. Last year, “my daughter got on my Facebook and did a Facebook Live video to introduce people to the cookies. It allows them to reach out to more people.”

Online sales also allow customers to pay with a credit card while still getting in-person delivery from their favorite scout, said Maura Warner, vice president of marketing for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Jen and Nic Hartmann are two of the four leaders of a multi-age Girl Scout troop of 13 girls in Cedar Rapids. Cookie sales proceeds cover badges, art supplies and admission prices to events so the girls don’t have to pay for troop activities throughout the year.

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The Hartmanns’ oldest daughter, Mari, 8, has been a “super seller” in recent years, last year selling 800 boxes of cookies. This year, she’ll work together with little sister, Rosi, 5.

“They both are going to have to do a little more work if they both want to be super sellers because you have a limited social network,” Jen Hartmann said. “We want our girls to work as a team.”

Cedar Rapids Girl Scouts will unite Friday for a cookie rally at Hawkeye Downs. There, they will go through stations to practice cookie sales skills, such as counting out change and pitching the product. They also will learn about the cookies — including a newcomer.

New for 2020, is the Lemon-Up, a crispy lemon cookie with icing on one side and on the other side positive messages, like “leader.” The Lemon-Up will replace Savannah Smiles, also a lemon cookie, but covered in powdered sugar, Warner said.

“I’m a big lemon fan and think that these are very good,” Warner said of the Lemon-Up, which will cost $4 a box.

Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

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