8 | Cookie Time REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Cookie Time - the recipe for success Richard Loader Lincoln Booth: “Everyone is encouraged to put an idea forward and, while it may not always get across the line, it will always be considered.” “I would use words like courageous and having the foresight to give things a go. There’s been a lot of learnings and plenty of successes that have come from this mindset”. The story of Cookie Time’s birth as a company speaks of the true spirit of kiwi entrepreneurship, self-belief and a ‘cando’ approach to making things work. Freshly returned from an overseas holiday, in 1983 and with a gem of an idea for freshly baked chocolate chunk cookies, a young Michael Mayell crafted a winning recipe and baked batches of cookies in his mother’s Christchurch kitchen. Tasting “absolutely delicious”, the cookies were carefully packed into Michael’s Mini and delivered to 70 dairies throughout the city. The phone started ringing and with it demand from customers and dairies. A few months later Michael was joined by his brother, Guy Pope-Mayell, and today the business continues to be privately owned. General Manager Lincoln Booth reflects on the innovation, passion and entrepreneurial spirit that runs throughout the business, and says it really has been the backbone of the company’s success to date. “I would use words like courageous and having the foresight to give things a go. There’s been a lot of learnings and plenty of successes that have come from this mindset”. Located in the same Christchurch site on Main South Road for many years, the company has grown into the site, increasing its capacity and capability through investing in automation and smart technology. Lincoln has been part of the Cookie Time journey for the past 16 years and says the company has a very rich culture with an amazing team who are very proud to work for the company. “Our culture and family values really lead the organisation but the people add to it and that drives business performance. “At the heart of that culture is empowering the team, innovation and encouraging people to do their best — that’s the entrepreneurial nature of the business. “Everyone is encouraged to put an idea forward and, while it may not always get across the line, it will always be considered.” If this sounds like a business you would like to work for, you are not alone. There are 274 people working for Cookie Time including it’s Franchise sales network and Christmas Cookie Sellers who totally agree. The development of the Christmas Cookie campaign was a key milestone for Cookie Time and has become an annual feature looked forward to by consumers and the tertiary students who make up the sales team. “The campaign is a great example of helping grow future New Zealand leaders, it gives them an opportunity to be a business owner and brand ambassador. “This year we received over 1800 CVs for 92 roles, such a phenomenal response that we are really proud of. “It’s such a powerful campaign that is well recognised throughout the country. Our sellers apply knowing they are going to get an amazing experience and work with a fabulous company that will coach and support them throughout their campaign. They do work hard, but the rewards are there. Our sellers are certainly part of the Cookie Time family.” Lincoln says the team of sellers are quite exceptional, often high achievers in their own right, come with a great attitude, a passion for success and a wonderful personality. “Every year, we are staggered by the quality of applicants, it just gets better and better. And this just flows through to their performance and the campaign success. “We’re very fortunate to have this calibre of student representing our brand, and we take great pride in seeing their success. The campaign also provides an insight into the future talent that may be available. “One of our previous top Christmas Cookie Sellers, Florence Forrester, is now our campaign manager. In addition, we have two members of our sales team who are heading up our account and product leadership roles, both were successful Sellers.” Over the last 15 years the Christmas Cookies campaign has raised over $2 million to help kids discover their gifts, this includes supporting KidsCan, The Dyslexia Foundation and St John. Another success pillar is the Cookie Time franchise sales distribution network that delivers it’s products from Kaitaia to Bluff; servicing supermarkets, service stations and dairies with its fresh range of products on a regular basis. “The franchisee’s are passionate owner/ operators who are the brand ambassadors of the business with our customers and consumers alike.” Supply chain disruptions through the pandemic are on every business leaders mind and Lincoln says wherever possible ingredients are locally sourced but some bespoke ingredients and packaging comes from overseas. “To date we’ve managed our supply chain very well, with strong communication with our suppliers and having the foresight to take early positions on stock holding levels in light of the looming supply chain disruptions,” Lincoln says. The Secret of Fine Chocolate For enquiries contact us on 0800 742 434 09 271 7503 www.icelandic.co.nz Proud to support Cookie Time!