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Oreos Maker Buys Long Island Cookie Company For $500 Million

May 09, 2018 - 10:41 am
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SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- The Hamptons-based Tate's Bake Shop is being gobbled up by the maker of Oreos and Chips Ahoy for $500 million.

Tate's has come a long way since opening in Southampton nearly two decades ago. Its famous thin-and-crispy cookies have been showing up on more and more store shelves across the country since receiving private-equity investment in 2014. Tate's sales have quadrupled over the past five years, according to Mondelēz International, which is buying the company.

WCBS Newsradio 880's Sophia Hall met with Tate's founder Kathleen King to find out how she went from being a little girl selling cookies on her father's farm to the best tasting chocolate chip cookies in America. 

King started selling her famous thin and crisp cookies when she was 11 years old.

"I started selling cookies at my dad's farm because he said I was old enough to buy my clothes for school," King said. "I started baking and selling the cookies and they became so popular and people loved them so much that by the time I got into high school in the summertime I'd be baking seven days a week, 10 hours a day."

She wanted to become a veterinarin but the cookie business grew and grew until she opened her own shop at a location where two other bakeries failed, but hers thrived.

And with a lot of hard work, Tate's Bake Shop cookies are sold around the globe.

"I do laugh at it all because all I ever wanted was to buy a car and rent an apartment when I first went into business," King said. "I did always want to be the best cookie in America and the Consumer Reports did eventually vote us the best chocolate chip cookie in America so that was quite exciting."

She wants to tell all young women out there to follow their dreams. 

"You've gotta have a little bit of a thick skin, cause it's not so easy out there. Do your best, really do your best -- always, every day," King said. "The most important thing is perseverance. You're gonna get knocked down, there's going to be naysayers all around you and you have to persevere. You have to get up when you fall down."

In a press release, Mondelez said it will operate Tate’s as a separate standalone business to nurture its entrepreneurial spirit and maintain the authenticity of the brand while providing resources to accelerate growth.