Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies
|Founded||West Orange, New Jersey (1983 )|
|Headquarters||Hawthorne, New Jersey, U.S.|
Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies was founded in 1983 in West Orange, New Jersey, by Jimmy Libman. Born deaf, Libman overcame his "disability" to run the cookie company by himself for more than 20 years. To supplement his work, Mr. Libman hired other deaf workers, offering them a place to hone their skills, and showing everyone that being deaf is not a limitation on success.
Under Mr. Libman, Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies focused primarily on Christmas-season gift tins, serving individual and corporate customers. All production was accomplished in a small facility on Valley Road in West Orange. Mr. Libman eventually sold the company to a group interested in expanding the Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies brand, from gift tins to a full retail-store experience. This group then opened two retail stores, known as Gimmee Jimmy's Cookie Bars, in Montclair, New Jersey and Livingston, New Jersey, respectively. The Cookie Bars married Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies with coffee and desserts, including cupcakes and muffins. The economic downturn of 2008 forced the group which had purchased the company from Mr. Libman to go out of business.
In 2009, Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies was revived when it was purchased by a group based in Sarasota, Florida, which intends to grow Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies into a nationally recognized brand. The following steps have been and are being taken to improve the business:
- A baking facility in Blandon, Pennsylvania was hired to bake, pack, and ship Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies across the country.
- A baking team was hired, led by Ralf Oehler, a chef trained in Germany at the first German restaurant to achieve three Michelin Guide stars. Mr. Oehler worked in Germany, Ireland, England, Spain, and Turkey before joining Gimmee Jimmy's in the United States.
- The original recipes first used by Mr. Libman in 1983 are being revived for use today.
- The under-performing retail stores were shuttered. New retail stores will be opened in more heavily trafficked locations throughout New Jersey and beyond, beginning in 2010.
- A new, 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) research center and bakery was opened on September 1, 2009 in Hawthorne, New Jersey. This facility allows Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies to improve and create products for the new retail stores, for shipment to customers across the country.
Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies now offers the following products to accompany the cookies (18 different varieties): Baklava, Biscotti, Cinnamon rolls, Linzer Cookies, Muffins, Red-Velvet Cupcakes (among 20 varieties of cupcakes), Cakes, Rugelach, plus custom products for birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, etc. Moreover, Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies offers products that are gluten-free: Chocolate-Drizzled Coconut Macaroons and Chocolate Pecan Chewies. All products are certified kosher dairy, those made in Pennsylvania certified by the Star-K, and those made in Hawthorne certified by Rabbi Mehlman of National Kosher Supervisors.
To re-claim the do-good nature of the company from its founding, the new owners formed the Gimmee Jimmy's Children's Foundation, to steer a portion of company proceeds to cheering children who are hospitalized with pediatric diseases. This foundation has yet to be fully mobilized, as the company decides how best to make use of the funds designated for these charitable purposes. In addition to the Gimmee Jimmy's Children's Foundation, the company is heavily involved in fundraising opportunities for schools, places of worship, and other non-profits.
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- Messina, Nick (March 18, 2010). "Gimmee Jimmy's makes up a variety of sweet treats". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- "Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies donating to the United Way". NorthJersey.com. September 2, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2011.