Cookie Time founder Michael Mayell has a lot to celebrate on his company’s 30th birthday this month.
The $30 million company sells to more than 6000 retailers and has 45 franchises. That’s a major achievement for a business that Mayell started in a Christchurch flat, using a bacon slicer to create thick chocolate chunks to put in the cookies.
Mayell had recently returned from America with $10,000 cash and a dream to start his own business. After two failed attempts at other ventures, he settled on a cookie company.
As the business grew, he moved from his tiny kitchen to renting a bakery.
He spent each night baking and each morning delivering jars of 45 cookies to dairies around Canterbury.
Thankfully his mother was happy to help with deliveries.
“I couldn’t have done it without her,” says Mayell.
Later in his first year of business, he hit a roadblock when sales suddenly stalled and he couldn’t afford to make cookies or pay bills - including the recently-acquired lease on the bakery.
Mayell’s 19-year-old brother Guy Pope-Mayell, a business student, came to the rescue, helping drum up sales among dozens of new outlets.
The brothers have been partners ever since, with equal ownership of the business.
“Cookie Time’s success is based on the complementing skills of Guy and I,” says Mayell. Mayell focuses on marketing, while Pope-Mayell handles the financial side.
Cookie Time wants to nurture its Kiwi franchisees and domestic business, while at the same time expanding overseas.
Its One Square Meal bar is sold in Australia under license by Sanitarium and Cookie Time wants to sell One Square Meal via other licensees and partners in the UK, Canada and America.
It also aims to open its milk and cookie bars overseas.