Great American Cookies

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Great American Cookie Co.
Great American Cookie
TypeWholly owned subsidiary
Bake shop
Founded1977; 46 years ago (1977)
Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Number of locations
371 (February 20, 2022)
Area served
United States
Saudi Arabia
  • Cookies
  • Cookie cake
  • Double doozies
  • Brownies
ParentFAT Brands

Great American Cookie Co., doing business as Great American Cookies is an American chain of independently owned and operated franchised stores that specialize in gourmet cookies, especially cookie cakes. It has over 290 stores in the U.S., particularly in the Southeast as well as Puerto Rico and Guam, most commonly located in malls. The company was founded in 1977 and has its headquarters in Atlanta. It is since 2010 a franchise brand in the portfolio of Global Franchise Group.


Old logo

Great American Cookie Co. was founded by future CEO Michael J. Coles and partner Arthur Karp, who each invested $4,000 to develop a business selling cookies on the strength of a family recipe passed on to Karp's wife.[1] That same year the first store opened in Atlanta's Perimeter Mall.[2]

The first store in Perimeter Mall became successful in its first month, and the company first became franchised the year after its opening.[3] By 1985, the company had revenue of $100 million per year and was the largest retail cookie chain in the U.S.[4]

In 1985, Coles shortened the name to Great American Cookie Company, with a plan to shorten it further to Great American Cookies. “To complement the revised recipes and pricing structure, we refashioned our branding. Our name—the Original Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Company—was cute at first, but it had become a liability. What might work for a small, local company did not have national cachet," said Coles.[5]

When Coles sold the firm to Mrs. Fields Famous Brands in 1998, the company had sales of over $100 million.[6] On January 29, 2008, the company was acquired by NexCen Brands Inc. for its Quick Service Restaurant portfolio, which included sister companies Marble Slab Creamery, MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery and Pretzelmaker. Since July 2010, this portfolio of brands has been owned by Global Franchise Group, LLC, an affiliate of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, and managed by GFG Management.[7]

On June 28, 2021, Global Franchise Group announced that it would be acquired by FAT Brands, owners of Fatburger and Johnny Rockets.[8] The acquisition was completed on July 22.[9]


  1. ^ "Press release: Great American Cookies celebrates 25 years of sharing the fun of cookies". BISON:Franchise and Business Opportunities. June 18, 2002. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  2. ^ "Great American Cookie Company Franchise". Archived from the original on March 16, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  3. ^ "SpeakerNotes/Michael Coles". January 26, 2008. Archived from the original on July 9, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  4. ^ "Mall cookie sales make company a sweet success". The Leaf-Chronicle. Associated Press. October 23, 1985. Archived from the original on February 22, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021 – via
  5. ^ Coles, Michael Joseph, 1944- (2018). Time to get tough : how cookies, coffee, and a crash led to success in business and life. Lewis, Catherine M.,, Kennedy, Jim, 1948-. Athens, Georgia. ISBN 978-0-8203-5462-0. OCLC 1030909455.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Entrepreneurial Forum - Breakfast Series, features: Michael Coles". Archived from the original on October 16, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  7. ^ "NexCen Brands (NEXC) buys the Great American Cookie Company from Mrs. Fields Famous Brands". streetinsider. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  8. ^ Inc, FAT Brands (28 June 2021). "FAT Brands Inc. Agrees to Acquire Global Franchise Group for $442.5 million". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 1 September 2021. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ Inc., FAT Brands (22 July 2021). "FAT Brands Completes Acquisition of Global Franchise Group". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 1 September 2021. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)

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