Interview - Jacky Magid - Charlie's Cookies
At Charlie’s Cookies, the motto “take your pleasure seriously” is behind every recipe and every batch of wholesale cookies that leaves the ovens. The company has set a benchmark for top quality products made from premium ingredients and the proof is in the tasting. Recently, we spoke with Jacky Magid, Sales Director and Owner of Charlie’s Cookies about the place of cookies in people’s daily lives and why a little pleasure is something to be wholeheartedly embraced.
FFW: Who are the clever folks behind Charlie’s Cookies?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: Ken Mahlab (my husband) and I have owned Charlie's for nearly a decade. We both come from completely different industries. Ken worked in property and I was a lawyer. We found that not only did our skills complement one another's, but as a team (kids included - the cookie connoisseurs) we brought something new and innovative to the industry. We are supported by an amazing and loyal team and are proud of the calibre of clients we service and the quality of product we produce.
FFW: How did you come up with your company motto?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: At Charlie's we believe life is too short not to enjoy delicious food. If one is to have a sweet treat, it should be the best!
FFW: By all accounts, your cookies seem to be a serious pleasure; how do you respond to the concept of cookies being a ‘guilty pleasure’?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: There are so many things in life to feel guilty about. Eating an Australian made and owned delicious cookie made from scratch using REAL ingredients, should not be one of them, particularly if enjoyed and consumed in moderation.
FFW: Just what is it that makes Charlie’s Cookies so premium?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: Charlie's is constantly innovating and refining its unique recipes. This, coupled with premium ingredients and handmade baking techniques makes our product premium and delicious. We also listen to our clients in top end institutions and organisations and take their feedback and suggestions.
FFW: You seem to have a cookie format that’s appropriate for a range of purposes including bite size, big bite size, medium and portion control; are all the flavours available in each format?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: Not always. Each size range has a particular end user in mind. For example 'bite size' is typically used as a complimentary cookie to accompany tea or coffee. The range of flavours we offer within this size range and others is really a result of over 10 years in the market listening to what our customers want most, but many do overlap.
FFW: Charlie’s also makes fabulous gluten free cookies; are they safe for coeliacs?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: Yes our gluten free cookies are made in a cleaned down facility and EVERY batch is tested for any detectable gluten (5 parts per million), prior to its release to the market. We have only ever had one negative test result and that was due to a contaminated ingredient. Hence, it is important to always test for gluten, because the contamination can happen prior to production.
FFW: What kind of shelf life do your café cookies have?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: Most of our cookies have a 9 month shelf life from the date of manufacture due to the packaging we use (which has a moisture and oxygen barrier). Most of our clients tell us that they never sit unsold that long anyway.
FFW: Can you tell us about your Café Grab & Go cookies?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: Our Grab & Go range is a new and exciting range designed with cafes in mind. The 60g cookies are individually wrapped for quick sale and hygienic handling. Each flavour comes in a cute point of sale display box housing 12 eye catching cookies. We have 8 of our best flavours, 3 of which are gluten free and all of them are packed with the most premium ingredients we could find; Australian butter, Belgian couverture chocolate, organic cranberries and whole macadamia nuts to name a few.
FFW: Aside from the obvious high quality, what are some of the stand-out features of the Charlie’s Cookies brand?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: The brand is probably most associated with customer service, quality and personality. The most powerful baking ingredient is the passion of the person baking. We've always aimed to ensure personal touch is ever present in the product, the service and the brand. We would also say that our stylish packaging and comprehensive offer assists customers to always find what they are looking for.
FFW: What kinds of clients are purchasing cookies from Charlie’s?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: Charlie's is proud to provide cookies to a wide variety of clients; airlines, entertainment venues, hotels, convention centres, corporate kitchens, gift hamper companies, cafes, distributors and many more.
FFW: How do you make it easy for your retailers and foodservice operators to do business with you?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: We're known for our agile customer service and logistics management. This means our lead times are much shorter than most. We work with customers and distributors to ensure the products arrive when needed. We also work with retailers and food service operators on special custom products, whether it be recipes, volumes or packaging – we take making their life easy, very seriously.
FFW: What are the favourite cookies at Charlie’s Cookies headquarters?
CHARLIE’S COOKIES: This is a tough one. It's a bit like asking to choose one of your children. Everyone has their own favourite. The short list probably looks a little like this; Mini Melting Moments, Chocolate Salted Caramel Grab and Go Cookies, Anzac Bites, Passionfruit Creams and Raspberry Shortbreads - but don't make us choose from these!
FFW: We wouldn’t dream of it; we have enough difficulty choosing our own favourites!