Franchise News Release: Salt Lake City, UT - (Jun-18-2002)

Great American Cookies Celebrates 25 Years of 'Sharing the FUN of Cookies'

For Great American Cookies, being in the business of fun for a quarter of a century is an occasion that's simply too sweet to overlook.

To Great American Cookies, a 316-store cookie retail giant, the upcoming birthday marks more than just a calendar date the first store opened - it celebrates 25 years of Great American tradition. Appropriately, Great American Cookies will celebrate July 4th with extra vigor this year to mark its own 25th year, along with the nation's birthday.

"It's appropriate that we center our anniversary around America's birthday," said Melissa Hallenbeck, Brand Manager of Great American Cookies. "For 25 years, we have built an American tradition for customers with great tasting products and a genuinely fun culture."

To mark this special occasion, Great American Cookie stores throughout the nation will treat customers to a patriotic celebration, including a Sweepstakes (running through July 15, 2002), in which the grand prize is a Caribbean cruise from Carnival Cruise Lines®. (Other prizes include $2,500 cash, free cookie certificates for a year and cookie tins filled with a dozen cookies.) Customer giveaways will include a coupon book, custom magnets and mugs illustrating a 25th anniversary logo. Stores will also promote their annual Americana patriotic Cookie Cakes that will include American Flag & Heart Flag Cookie Cake designs, as well as a new "God Bless America" 16" Cookie Cake design.

"We encourage all of our franchisees and store managers to have fun with this 25th anniversary campaign," said Frann Wolfe, senior vice president of marketing. "We take the fun aspect of our business very seriously - every owner and manager is charged with 'sharing the fun of cookies' with every customer that visits our stores."

In its 25 years of sharing the fun of cookies, Great American Cookies has creatively celebrated such special occasions as participating in the 1984 Worlds Fair in New Orleans; developing the world's largest cookie that spanned across one shopping mall's lower atrium area; creating a giant dinosaur-shaped cookie cake to welcome a new dinosaur exhibit to Fern Bank Museum in Atlanta, and participating in kid's demonstrations, with one franchisee who lures customers in with magic tricks and tasty treats.

Great American Cookies, most noted for its signature Cookie Cakes, began baking its way into American's hearts and stomachs in 1977, when company co-founder Arthur Karp shared his grandmother's favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with business partner Michael Coles. That year, they opened their first store in Georgia's Perimeter Mall. The first franchised store opened in 1978.

From this one store and one recipe, Great American Cookies expanded in malls across the country and developed a complete line of cookies, brownies and cookie cakes. Four years ago, the phenomenal success of Great American Cookies attracted the attention of the Salt Lake City-based Mrs. Fields' Famous Brands, the leading retailer and franchisor of "baked on premise" snack products in the United States. Mrs. Fields acquired Great American Cookies in August 1998.

Great American Cookies' motto, "Share the FUN of Cookies," has allowed the 25-year-old company to strengthen the brand through the inception of unique cookie cake designs (over 100 to choose from), and volume discounts to encourage corporate and large party orders. The brand prides itself on delivering fresh baked superior quality products to its customers, and emphasizes a fun and entertaining experience for customers.

Great American Cookies, operator and franchisor of mall-based specialty retail cookie outlets, is a subsidiary of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, Inc. The system has 316 retail outlets, including 106 corporate stores and 210 Franchise locations.


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