Their story started in 1983 when Michael Mayell returned to New Zealand from a trip to the U.S. Inspired by cookie shops in the U.S., he set out to do something similar in New Zealand – borrowing a bakery at night and partnering with his brother he started a brand that is known throughout New Zealand – Cookie Time. Cookie Time is entertaining to me as an American because what I call a ‘cookie’ is usually called a ‘biscuit’ here. So the idea that a store called Cookie Time became so popular is just ironic.
If you’re in Templeton, just outside of Christchurch, it’s worth a stop in the factory store if you have a sweet tooth. There are only a few free samples but you can get bags of broken cookies for a decent price. They used to do factory tours but stopped a long time ago so now the store is just a store with cheap (relatively) cookies and a nice variety of Cookie Time’s offering.
At Christmas time, Cookie Time puts out special cookies for the season. The cookies are smaller in size and come in large plastic buckets. Some of the funds from the sale of the buckets goes to charities in New Zealand and the buckets are sold by tertiary students, online and in some stores. Flavors are Salted Caramel (my favorite), Chocolate Chip, Cranberry White Chocolate, and Apricot Chocolate.
In 1996, Cookie Time made it into the Guiness Book of World Records by creating the world’s biggest cookie. They held the title until 2008 when an American company beat it. Info (from their website) and video of the cookie is below:
Our World Record cookie was…
- 15 square metres in area
- 9 metres in diameter
- 5 centimetres thick
And it contained…
- A whopping 13 tonnes of ingredients, including…
- 5 tonnes of chocolate – over 1 million chocolate chips
- 1 tonnes of sugar – enough for 600,000 cups of tea
- 2 tonnes of butter – enough for over 400,000 slices of toast
- 24,000 eggs – enough to have one a day for 65 years
- 5 tonnes of flour – enough for 12,000 batches of scones