The Cottage Cookies team: Cristi Springer and Emma and Craig Niven.
The Cottage Cookies team: Cristi Springer and Emma and Craig Niven.

Watch out Arnotts: CQ business to become next household name

Look out Arnotts, Gracemere’s Cottage Cookies has its eyes on you.

The family-owned business has recently amped up its business goals and aims to be the next household name in the sweets industry.

The name Cottage Cookies has been around Central Queensland for many years, but there are plans for massive expansion underway.

Craig Niven began working for the business 14 years ago and in 2013 he and his wife, Emma, bought it out.

Late last year, Cristi Springer, Emma’s younger sister, who has a marketing and business degree, came in to help.

“We want to bring Cottage Cookies into a bigger light and achieve dreams,” Cristi said.

“Tell Arnotts to watch out or they can give us a call and get some pointers off us.”

The business used to be a shopfront but as demand for wholesale became more viable, the decision was made to close it.

More than just the name suggests, the sweets business sells everything from cookies to peach blossoms, slices, brownies and more.

The business also takes custom orders and has some exciting orders coming up such as a sweets table at a wedding, birthday party cakes and sugar cookies for children’s birthdays.

The goods are also sold at Foodworks stores on Richardson Rd and George St, and Emma is at the Rocky Racecourse markets every Sunday.

Their point of difference is their ‘secret weapon’ Craig, who has a dual trade as a pastry chef and baker, which is very rare these days.

“A lot of cookies and biscuits have opted for the mass production, they use machines and they will use the same batch for different cookies, one batch and they add choc chips to it or oats and walnuts and it will be the same mix,” Cristi said.

“Craig will make a batch for each biscuit, if he is doing jam drops, they are jam drops, they are not going to be used for anything else.

“You are not going to get a machine, he knows the cooking, how long it is going to take, the way he does it, it is reciprocated each time, he knows his stuff and it all comes down to his dual trade.

“Every single time the product is good, he never misses a beat.”

Their most popular product are their ‘minis’, which are a cross between a shortbread and a melting moment.

“You don’t feel as guilty when you just eat a few because you think it just equals one,” Cristi said.

Before Christmas the business launched its website and took orders through the site for three different Christmas boxes on offer for pick up - and people drove from as far as Gladstone to collect their goods.

In the past few weeks, shipping was launched, opening the business Queensland wide.

In the short time since the launch, products have been sent some way out west, down south and Brisbane way.

“Our products are very delicate, it’s not just a matter of ‘yeah sure we can ship it’,” Cristi said.

“We had to think about what products we could send, how they would arrive, are they going to arrive in cookie crumbs.”

Emma will also be launching a stall at the Caloundra Street Markets next month.

“The next few goals are just really trying to have our own branches as far and wide as we can,” she said.

And from here on out, it will only be up.

“We want to be a household name, it can be done, it can’t be done overnight but it can be,” Cristi said.

“Within six months I am so proud of what we have achieved, how we have grown, we have a whiteboard and everything we put on there we cross off.

“You set some goals, you set small ones, and you get it down and it’s small steps.

“Check back in another six months...watch out Arnotts.”

To buy Cottage Cookie goods, visit Rockhampton Foodworks stores on either George St or Richardson Rd, head to the markets on Sundays at the Rocky Racecourse or visit www.cottagecookiesgracemere.com.



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