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Aug 9, 2011 3:02 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Two Brands of Cookie Compete For The East End Market

Aug 9, 2011 5:15 PM

Having her brand dropped from the shelves of some customers who she said had carried her baked goods for 30 years was a tough cookie to swallow, however.

“In the beginning, it was incredibly upsetting and disturbing to me that some of the farm stands dropped my product after all these years. They were customers I really didn’t think I would have a problem with,” she said. “Everybody has a choice. That’s the beauty of being in business. I’ve processed those feelings and I’ve moved on. I do my best.”

Just as Ms. King said she was initially shocked about some customers jumping ship, Mr. Patrick said he, too, was shocked—at his firing.

“It was a shock and the way they handled it was even a bigger shock,” he said last week in a phone interview while pulled to the side of the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey on a cookie run. “But, you know what? Everything happens for a reason. I’m doing 10 percent of the business that I used to do a year ago. I’m not making any money, and I’m struggling. You have to start somewhere.”

He declined to discuss his firing and dismissed the notion that he’s started a cookie war. “There’s plenty of customers out there, and there’s plenty of places to sell cookies,” he said. “It’s just a question, I guess, of how you do in selling ’em and delivering them.”

Asked how his cookie differs from Tate’s, Mr. Patrick replied that, with the exception of the classic chocolate chip, he has branched out into different flavors.

Tate’s flavors for sale on a recent display included white chocolate chip macadamia nut, oatmeal raisin and whole wheat dark chocolate chip. The company has also rolled out some gluten-free cookies this season.

Examples of Hampton’s cookies for sale include chocolate chip espresso, cranberry walnut and lemon sugar.

Mr. Patrick said his brand would also be more selective than Tate’s about where it is offered. “You’re not going to find my cookies, our cookies, in the Hess Mini Mart. You’re not going to find them in 7-Elevens or things like that. That’s not my market. That’s not where I want to be,” he said. “I’m not one for oversaturating so you can find the cookies in every store. That’s the biggest difference, because, as you know, you see Tate’s everywhere now.”

A little more than a decade ago, Ms. King was embroiled in a legal battle that she labeled a “real cookie war.” She said she has no interest in seeing that happen again.

Back then, she had been fired from her duties at what was then Kathleen’s Bake Shop by two co-owner brothers, Kevin and Robert Weber, who reportedly did so because they thought she was trying to undermine the company for her own benefit. Each side lobbed a lawsuit at the other, but they reached a settlement in 2000. Ms. King regained full ownership of her Southampton shop, but the brothers got to keep the Kathleen’s name, among other elements of the business.

Mr. Patrick equated his launching of his new company as similar to that episode. “When I first started distributing, for two years I made no money because I was competing up against the Kathleen’s Bake Shop name, but I’m a lot smarter and wiser now. I’ve had 10 years of experience in distributing.”

Meanwhile, retailers who have switched to the newcomer said they wanted to support a local resident in his new venture. Even though Tate’s had been the brand the farm stands sold, Mr. Patrick was the face of the cookies for them.

Patrick Carroll, who was behind the cash register at Hank’s Farm Stand on County Road 39 last week said he swapped out his Tate’s in favor of Hampton’s because he was familiar with working with Mr. Patrick. “He’s been selling us cookies for years,” he explained.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By peggy, southampton on Aug 9, 11 6:24 PM
Tate's continues to be my choice
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 10, 11 2:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
Tip for small business owners -- don't hire employees who have the savvy and means to steal your business model.
By Mr Suffolk (113), Twin Forks on Aug 10, 11 4:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sag Harbor Baking Company makes the best oatmeal raisin cookies but Tates makes the best chocalate chip cookies and coconut layer cakes, in my humble overweight opinion. Finally,Southampton Press, an issue we can sink our teeth into.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Aug 10, 11 7:59 PM
Hamptons HomeMade ??? they are NOT made in the Hamptons and they are NOT homemade !
By AndersEn (174), Southampton on Aug 10, 11 9:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
ok. I'll add a comment. Cookies are just no longer my desired snack. I opt for olives, cheese, grapes, melon, myself.

But Katthleen has been through enough...hasn't she? I say. "WHOA! Nellie.
Can't everybody just get along?
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Aug 10, 11 11:25 PM
Well as they say, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or something like that. People love "food wars" so maybe some new marketing schemes are in order! A little friendly competition could go a long way. With that said, as far as chocolate chip cookies go, the best ones are the ones that come out of your own oven!
By bchgrl83 (52), Westhampton Beach on Aug 11, 11 8:39 AM
Tates has good cookies... but I went to their shop once, and the employees behind the counter had some bad attitudes. Not sure if I want to give them a second chance. Bad customer experience.
But good cookie :)
By marybmary (54), east hampton on Aug 11, 11 12:37 PM
maybe it was Ken
By just breath (82), yuck on Aug 11, 11 1:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
I for one miss Kathy's double chocolate brownies. Went very well with Gran Marnier.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 11, 11 5:34 PM
Tate's is my pick because they Tate's Great....
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Aug 13, 11 12:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Tate's is great. Good luck to the Sag Harbor Baking Co.!!
By Spikeland67 (25), Sag Harbor on Aug 13, 11 4:59 PM
ken and kathryn are free to conduct themselves in this manner but the fact is, its lame. kathleen has earned her reputation and the ability to charge $6 which judging by her popularity represents a valuable item/service. for someone to capitalize on someone else's life of effort and to fake it in such a way while maybe legal, it certainly isn't reflective of earning anything. in not divulging where the product is made but calling it hamptonsmade it just doesn't feel right. the ingredients might ...more
By kaluss (113), Southampton on Aug 13, 11 6:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nice job! This is America and it was built on competion... go get her baby , Maybe this year she wont close at 11:30 on Thanksgiving. Bet she thought twice about her decision to fire you now.This is what we have been talking about in a different thread, its your right to change your life so stop bitching about a job you don't like ( Verizon thugs ) and change your life. BRAVO Mr. Patrick you are now successful get ready for some people to hate on you now that you have found your way.
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Aug 13, 11 9:19 PM
Maybe you'll plan better, so being home with family on Thanksgiving Day for her employees is possible.

Maybe you'll plan around it, so it doesn't annoy you, and at the same time, have courtesy for a local business' employees, on National Holiday.

Hypocrite...

And, I mean that as respectfully as possible...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 14, 11 5:44 PM
2 members liked this comment
BS you want to run a retail store than be there for your customers or risk losing them to a better run operation
Aug 14, 11 6:19 PM appended by Undocumented Democrat
the choice is hers to close and her employees to quit and also Joe's to go where he feels he gets better service. Its called competition freedom of choice something we used to value in this country. but that was before you generation, raised on everyone gets a participation trophy and no keeping score was allowed
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Aug 14, 11 6:19 PM
I rest my case.
Aug 16, 11 6:29 PM appended by Mr. Z
You assume so much about "my generation". Because ot my parent's divorce, I got to play ball in SW PA,. I went to the district NEXTDOOR to Ringgold. You know, the place where Joe Montana went to high school. Brother, we kept score. 10-0 Junior year, and 9-1 Senior year. You done yet? 'Cause I'm just gettin' warmed up...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 14, 11 6:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Maybe you should rest it more often ( just a thought )
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Aug 15, 11 3:44 PM
Yeah, but I've been felled silent for so many years by mis/undiagnosed apnea, I simply want to taste it all.

I'll try, though...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 16, 11 9:33 PM
Not baked in the Hamptons? NOT HOME MADE?? What a misleading name for a product! Not the kind of company that appeals to my taste!! Kind of sneaky and quite a misrepresentation!! And yes, I love Tate's!!!
By allenfein (72), Southampton on Aug 13, 11 11:02 PM
HHM will have a long way to go to compete with Tate's at this point.

Tate's is now widely distributed.
By concerned east ender (49), Sag Harbor on Aug 14, 11 9:28 AM
You can buy the exact same cookies for $1 less at Trader Joe's under the name "Highbrow Chocolate Chip Cookies."

They are exactly the same as Tates and are probably made by them and distributed under Trader Joe's name brand
By btdt (449), water mill on Aug 15, 11 2:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Kathleen was the first! You know the story? Little girl likes to bake cookies and asks her father if she can sell some at his farm stand. True American tale of hard work and dilligence to quallity product. Can't beat that.
Even if you cheat and steal that product will never taste as good the original.

Way to go Kathleen!! We knew ye when a little tot with flour on your chin.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Aug 15, 11 9:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
There is nothing wrong with a bit of competition.
By Miss K. (103), East Quogue on Aug 15, 11 11:10 PM
Sweet Andy's cookies rock. They are softer and yummier! Made locally by a local family. Give em a try - they are worth it!
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on Aug 16, 11 6:08 AM
1 member liked this comment