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Cookie Time Celebrates 30 Years In The Baking – 1983-2013!

Media release


Cookie Time Limited (CTL) this week celebrates 30 years in business with a special re-enactment bake of its original cookies.

This week, company owners and brothers Michael Mayell and Guy Pope-Mayell will be rolling up their sleeves for a 1983 style bake of Cookie Time’s first product, Original Chocolate Chunk Cookies. That means a bacon slicer to cut up chocolate chunks, ice-cream scoops for measuring the dough and paint scrapers to get the baked cookies off the trays.

The 85g Original Chocolate Chunk Cookie was the first made by 21-year-old Michael Mayell and delivered with the help of his Mum to 70 Christchurch dairies on 7 February 1983. Today, CTL makes more than 20 different kinds of Cookie Time cookies, along with Bumper Bar and One Square Meal – patented as the first in a new class of nutritionally balanced food and beverage.

Michael Mayell says the 30th is a major milestone for an idea he dreamed up in his one-bedroom Christchurch flat. “I started Cookie Time with a huge handmade cookie, a glass cookie jar, $5000 in the bank, an old Mini Clubman van and bucketloads of youthful enthusiasm. It’s been an amazing journey, and taking Cookie Time from one-bedroom start-up to household name has been incredibly rewarding,” he says.

‘We’ve always been driven by entrepreneurship and innovation, and our willingness to try new things – some not always successfully – has been a key to success. Also crucial is the partnership with Guy. We have very complementary skills and he keeps me grounded, bringing smart thinking and pragmatism to activating the big ideas,” Mayell says.

“Cookie Time has been a labor of love for thousands of people over the past 30 years. Business is all about people and Guy and I have loved sharing this roller coaster ride with all of them. For us, the birthday is a good opportunity to give something back.”

Cookies from the re-enactment bake will be given out at Cookie Time in a birthday bash this Thursday that will include a cookie drive-through, a big graffiti canvas for people to leave birthday messages and heaps of factory shop specials – including Original Chocolate Chunk Cookies at the 1983 price of 50c for Thursday and Saturday.

The company has also launched a limited edition version of the Original Chocolate Chunk Cookie. The birthday packaging has the cookie wrapped up with a big illustrated bow and features the brand’s Cookie Muncher character with a birthday hat and birthday cake. There are also three big birthday prizes on offer via the Cookie Time facebook page: 30,000 free cookies, a $30,000 cash donation to be split between a charity and a school, and 30 years supply of cookies to be won by one serious cookie muncher.

The birthday cookie, RRP $2.20, will be available through to end of February/early March. The birthday design was developed by Dow Design and Cookie Time’s internal creative team. The design evolves the new look unveiled during Cookie biggest rebrand in 20 years late last year which introduced refreshed colour palettes and a renewed focus on Cookie Muncher.

Looking ahead, CTL has lots of new product development in the pipeline, and two major projects in play – licensing its Cookie Bar retail concept, and further development of One Square Meal as flagship for nutritional balance.

“These are two quite different propositions, but they share a common thread of innovation and commitment to producing the best tasting, quality products that are leaders in their category or, in the case of One Square Meal, create a new category,” Mayell says.

CTL has developed a Cookie Bar international licensing model and, with strong interest from Asian markets, is currently in discussion to take this offshore.

”Cookies are the foundation of our business so we are understandably excited about the Cookie Bar future. Baking fresh hot cookies for our customers offers a unique experience, providing entertainment and theatre centred on premium delicious product and service – all wrapped up in a delicious aroma,” Mayell says.

CTL is also finalising a nutritional balance/One Square Meal licensing and partnership model for further discussion with international food manufacturers. One Square Meal is already licensed in Australia in partnership with Sanitarium.

“We believe there are huge opportunities to deliver nutritionally balanced products which provide convenience, portability and value, taking the guesswork out of healthy eating,” Mayell says.

Cookie Time co-owners Guy Pope-Mayell and Michael Mayell baking cookies 1983 style
Photo credit: David Alexander


Founded in 1983, Cookie Time Limited is an entrepreneurial, innovation-led food company. Its business includes franchised distribution and retail, licensing and manufacturing operations. Headquartered in New Zealand, the company is actively focused on international licensing opportunities.

Committed to quality, operational excellence and ongoing growth, this successful iconic company has a substantial portfolio which includes Cookie Time, Bumper Bars and the One Square Meal. In 2010, CTL opened its first full-scale retail space, the Cookie Time Cookie Bar in Queenstown. The company employs more than 80 full time staff at its Christchurch head office, factory and food science laboratory. In addition, more than 40 independent franchisees distribute Cookie Time Limited products throughout New Zealand.

In March 2012, CTL was voted best New Zealand owned company at the annual Grocery Retailers' Association (NARGON) awards, also taking out gold for best small business for the fourth year running, plus a silver medal for most efficient distribution. In November, CTL signed a deal with Air NZ to supply rookie mini size cookies, for all domestic flights.


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