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 is a franchise brand in the portfolio of Global Franchise Group. With more than 290 stores in the U.S., Great American Cookies stores are most commonly based in malls nationwide, particularly in the Southeast. The company was founded in 1977 and has its headquarters in Atlanta.
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 gourmet cookies on the strength of an old family recipe passed on to Karp by his grandmother. That same year the first store opened in Atlanta's Perimeter Mall, which continues to operate to this day.
Coles and Great American Cookie Company were initially met with rejection from mall owners and managers. Leasing space was denied under the assumption that the cookie concept would fail outside of east and west coast markets. The first store in Perimeter Mall became successful in its first month, and the company, originally named The Original Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Company but renamed Great American Cookie Company in 1985 and later Great American Cookies, first became franchised a year after its opening.
On January 29, 2008, Great American Cookies was acquired by NexCen Brands Inc. for its Quick Service Restaurant portfolio, which included sister companies Marble Slab Creamery, MaggieMoo's Ice Cream & 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.
On June 22, 2017, Great American Cookies celebrated its 40th birthday by giving away free cookies to the first 40 customers at participating locations. The company also offered cookies for 40 cents in honor of the celebration.
On July 5, 2017, Great Americans cookies came under fire for suspending an 18yr old employee for buying a brownie for a police officer. A couple behind the police office in line demanded something free as well, and when the teenager stated why he bought the officer the brownie, they responded by threatening to beat him up. The couple reported the incident, and initially the higher up managers wanted to fire the teen, however a manager stepped up for the teen. He was issued a week suspension and a write up. After news broke about the suspension and the company has received widespread criticism, Great American Cookies has backpedaled and revoked the suspension. No word on if they lifted the write up.
Great American Cookies recipes and production originate at its batter facility in Atlanta. Both traditional and original cookie flavors are offered at its stores, including: Original Chocolate Chip, Original Chocolate Chip with M&Ms, Peanut Butter with M&Ms, Peanut Butter Supreme, Sugar, Snickerdoodle, White Chunk Macadamia Nut, Chewy Chocolate Supreme, Chewy Pecan Supreme, Double Fudge, Oatmeal Walnut Raisin, Domino and Pecan Supreme.
In addition to cookies, stores also sell fudge brownies which come in original flavors such as cheesecake and German Chocolate, and cookie cakes that are commonly used for celebrations and special occasions.
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