Kathleen King is the face behind those 7-oz. green and white bags sitting on shelves of stores around the country.
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King's journey in creating her cookie empire began when she was 11 years old. With a love of cooking, King began selling crisp, buttery chocolate chip cookies at her family's Long Island farmstand, North Sea Farm, according to LinkedIn.
“The recipe came from the back of the Nestlé bag,” she told the New York Times during a 2013 interview. “But my mom said that even back then, I was a food snob. If she bought chocolate chips on sale, I’d have a fit, because they were the wrong ones. I wouldn’t use them.”
By 1980, she opened her first shop in Southhampton, New York, at 21 years old, naming it Kathleen’s Cookie which then turned into Kathleen’s Bake Shop, according to the Times.
However, King's path to where she is today was less than sweet.
By 1999, she fell into debt after a bad business deal, the Times reported. Not only did she lose her building but she lost the name. What's more, she was even barred from entering the store, according to the outlet.
After her neighbors caught wind of the news, they boycotted the bakery. A half a year later, she entered into a settlement, effectively giving her back the building but not the name, the outlet reported.
That's when Tate's Bake Shop was born. It was named after her father, according to Tate's website.
Today, Tate's Bake Shop lures in droves of loyal customers with lines that stretch out the door, the company touted. But if you can't get there, customers can grab a bag at any one of the 5,000 gourmet retailers nationwide or online.
Today, King's company creates numerous treats like cakes, brownies, bark and tea loaves, although she is widely known for various crisp cookies. She even delved into making gluten-free cookies.
“There was a demand for it,” she told the Times. “People were driving for miles to pick up packages and packages of cookies. One woman tasted the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie and cried. She said she never thought she’d eat a good-tasting cookie again.”
The company touts that its products are made from natural ingredients and do not contain any additives or preservatives. In fact, the company compiled a list of its entire selection of products and what goes into each treat.