Great American Cookies

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Great American Cookies is a 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 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.


Great American Cookie Company was founded by future CEO Michael 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 by his grandmother.[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 a year after its opening.[3] By 1985, the company had sales of $100 million per year and was the largest retail cookie chain in the U.S.[4]

When Coles sold the firm to Mrs. Fields Famous Brands in 1998, the company had sales of over $100 million.[5] 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.[6]


  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.
  5. ^ "Entrepreneurial Forum - Breakfast Series, features: Michael Coles". Archived from the original on October 16, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  6. ^ "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.

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