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时事新闻:巧克力曲奇女王的创业故事


【英文原文】Building a Chocolate Chip EmpireBite
into a Tates Bake Shop chocolate chip cookie and

youll quickly realize that butter is the not-so-secret
ing

gredien

t. The thin, crispy, caramel-tasting treats are
the signature product of Kathleen Kings Southampton,

N.Y., bakery and the guilty pleasure of be

ach-bound Manhattanites, celebrity fans such as
Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachael Ray, and cookie lovers

around the country. Growing up on a Long Island far

m, Ms. King began baking as a kid and now some
four decades later sells her confections in 40 states to

the tune of $6 million in annual revenue. Her

wholesale facility in nearby East Moriches churns out
24 million cookies each year, sold in clear plastic bags

for $5 a dozen at retailers such as Who

le Foods, Gelsons and Central Market. Ms. King, 50
years old, today has 55 employees, two cookbooks

and an ultimate plan to sell her company for a swe

et price, of course.Edited interview excerpts follow:Q.
What inspired you to start your own business? A. I

was baking and selling cookies at my dads f

arm when I was 11. He said, You have to buy your
own clothes for school, so I said, OK. When you grow

up on a farm, you start working the day you star

t walking. We were raised in an independent selfsufficient way so it was just incredibly natural for me

to finish college and create my own job. My m

om told me about a fully equipped bakery for rent in
Southampton. When I was 23, I bought the location I

am still in today. At the time, it was just p

utting one foot in front of the other. I lived at home; I
didnt have any major responsibilities. Thats the

beauty of being young and naïve I didn

t know what to fear.Q. Did you work hard to make
your cookie stand out? A. I honestly never had a plan.

The chocolate chip cookie was always my specia

lty. My dad said. You cant just have a store selling
chocolate chip cookies. So I made other American

things apple pie, cakes and muffins. But the bot

tom line is that I still make my living off chocolate
chip cookies the rest is fluff.Q. Are you surprised at

how many fans youve won? A. Sometimes its

a little overwhelming! Its rewarding because were
very strict on our quality control. My staff takes

tremendous pride in the product. If someone has

a complaint, we take it to heart. We try the best we
can to stay on top of our game, because theres always

someone trying to compete.Q. How have your

marketed your business? A. When I first got into the
wholesale business, I literally went into Manhattan

with a shopping bag and walked into stores [l

ike legendary market Balduccis] saying: Can I sell
some cookies? We got orders. Then our reputation

started to spread. We do a lot in the community, s

uch as donating to fundraisers, and the community has
been good to us. As far as celebrities, they just find

our products on their own. You get a lot

of exposure here in the Hamptons you never know
whos coming in or who youre selling to. Thats one of

the reasons for my success.Q. How did you grow yo

ur business beyond the Hamptons? A. I have an
amazing business manager whos been able to help me

reach this level. He meets with distributors, negotia

tes deals and then we open up territories and start
shipping. We do tastings and in-store specials, then

we go to another territory and do the same th

ing.Q. How has your company fared during the
recession? A. Weve done relatively well. It makes us

all work smarter. We watch everything closely and we

cut where we can. We never cut on quality but if I
can buy a paper bag cheaper, we do that. My retail-

store business isnt growing because rentals (in

the Hamptons) are down, but the wholesale business
is growing. People tend to eat more sweets when

stressed.Q. Whats been your biggest challenge? A.

Breakage and shelf life is a constant challenge. People
want an all-natural product, but they want it to last 6

months. We just keep trying to create

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