Cookie-cutter company finds sweet spot with US manufacturing

PHOTO: Ann Clark, the woman behind the cookie cutting company named after her, still makes some of the designs. Clark said she found the success of the family-owned company "pretty amazing actually."PlayAnn Clark Cookie Cutters
WATCH Americans across the country share their holiday baked goods

The people of Ann Clark Cookie Cutters has an important message this Christmas: Santa prefers a homemade, decorated cookie.

"There's no question about it: Santa leaves more presents for people that make better cookies," CEO Ben Clark said.

And, Ann Clark's workers are hoping families use their cookie cutters -- from the toy soldier and angel to the reindeer and gift bow -- to make those special treats.

"[The] winter hat, it's very cute, and I like the mitten as well," said Colleen Courcelle, who's worked in production full time for three years.

PHOTO: The workers behind the U.S. company Ann Clark Cookie Cutters are hoping families use their product to make their special treats for Santa this Christmas.ABC News
The workers behind the U.S. company Ann Clark Cookie Cutters are hoping families use their product to make their special treats for Santa this Christmas.

Nuns behind chocolate company share their candy's special ingredient

Unique Advent calendars to make the holiday season extra exciting

US company provides kits to grow your own Christmas tree

The family-owned company was started by Ben Clark's parents in 1989. Ann Clark, his mother, an artist and the company's namesake, is still behind some of the designs.

PHOTO: Ann Clark Cookie Cutters is the largest cookie-cutter manufacturer in the United States.Ann Clark Cookie Cutters
Ann Clark Cookie Cutters is the largest cookie-cutter manufacturer in the United States.

Ben Clark said that when he came on board Ann Clark Cookie Cutters, the Rutland, Vermont, company began making its own cookie cutters. Originally, he said the product was purchased from another supplier.

Now, the company makes its cookie cutters in a building in Vermont that it bought two years ago. The steel used is sourced from Indiana as well.

"Once we decided to make our product in the United States, we decided that all of our raw materials should also come from the United States," Ben Clark said.

PHOTO: Ann Clark Cookie Cutters of Rutland, Vermont, started in 1989. The company makes 3.5 million cookie cutters a year.Ann Clark Cookie Cutters
Ann Clark Cookie Cutters of Rutland, Vermont, started in 1989. The company makes 3.5 million cookie cutters a year.

He said not only did the family consider the move the "right thing to do," but he said the family found that it gave it a "strategic advantage."

"Manufacturing in the United States allows us to control the quality of our product," he said. "We're controlling the process. We're controlling the raw materials so we know we're delivering a great product every day."

His mother, Ann Clark, said she found the company's success "pretty amazing actually."

"Who would've thought?" she said. "When I started, I didn't even know what a business plan was. I had no plan."

Now, the company is the largest cookie-cutter manufacturer in the United States, with 45 workers making 3.5 million cookie cutters a year.

"I believe products should be made in the United States," Ben Clark said. "I believe products can be made in the United States profitably."

And, just in time for Christmas, "World News Tonight" viewers shared some of their favorite Made in America gift ideas:

  • American Plastic Toys of Walled Lake, Michigan, was founded in 1962 and has been selling at Walmart for 55 years. This year, the company has hired 130 new workers across three factories.
  • Lee Sims Chocolate of Staten Island, New York
  • Firehook baked sea salt crackers of Chantilly, Virginia
  • Vermont Village Applesauce, Vinegar and Apple Butter
  • Nalgene Water Bottles
  • Signature Brands Popcorn of Ocala, Florida
  • Wendell August Christmas ornaments of Mercer, Pennsylvania
  • The Green Glove Dryer of Vicksburg, Michigan

PHOTO: Ann Clark Cookie Cutters is named after Ann Clark, an artist who started the company with her husband in 1989. Ann Clark Cookie Cutters
Ann Clark Cookie Cutters is named after Ann Clark, an artist who started the company with her husband in 1989.

Comments