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COOKIE LOVERS FIND THEIR JUST DESERTS COME FROM GRANNY B’S OVEN IN OREM

SHARE COOKIE LOVERS FIND THEIR JUST DESERTS COME FROM GRANNY B’S OVEN IN OREM

The day two women fought over a cookie in Wes Homolik's pizza store was the day he knew he had something special on his hands.

Four years ago Homolik operated Papa DeMarco's Pizza Parlor in Orem and Provo. He and his wife, Diane, started offering sugar cookies topped with pink frosting after a customer suggested they serve a dessert.Diane's mother came up with the idea for sugar cookies, made from a recipe Diane had.

Customers loved the cookies. The day the two women showed up in his store, Homolik had one cookie left and both ladies wanted it. Homolik did what any wise man would do - he split the cookie in half.

Homolik began taking Diane's cookies next door to Ray's Conoco and to other convenience stores. By 1987, cookies were outselling pizzas.

"It was amazing," he said. "By the time I got through the route the first store would be out and wanting more. We had to make a decision - what is it going to be here, cookies or pizzas.

"We knew that decision. It was the cookies."

It was a wise decision. Today, Homolik sells eight varieties of Granny B's Cookies, made in Orem, in convenience stores in Utah, California, Las Vegas, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. And, yep, Diane's mother is "Granny B." The "B" stands for Blackett.

In addition to the pink-frosted sugar cookie, Granny B's makes chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, a giant chocolate sandwich, M & M, raisin-filled and apple-filled cookies.

"They are one of our biggest pastry sellers, and when we are out people are upset," said Marlene Faulkner, owner of Will's Pit Stop in Provo. "They are an excellent product. They are consistent. You can count on them being good all the time . . . . In fact, I'm munching on one now."

Faulkner said the pink-frosted sugar cookies outsell the other varieties 6 to 1.

"I wonder how people make cookies that taste so good," said Heidi Bogus, 9, munching on a pink-frosted sugar cookie.

"They are abnormally good," Homolik said.

Company employee Michelle Corbett describes Granny B Cookies this way: "You take one bite and you want more. Nothing else will fill that craving. It's a Granny B cookie or nothing."

Apparently, lots of other people agree. Homolik said they sell more than $1 million in cookies a year.

The cookies are also sold at Seven Peaks Water Park, in vending machines and offered through the Marriott Corp. Homolik plans to expand distribution to nine other states in the next four months.

In 1988, Homolik moved to a larger building in Orem's industrial park area and added equipment that increased his production from 2,000 to 100,000 cookies a day. Granny B's employs 27 people.

Homolik says the secret to Granny B's success is secret recipes, good marketing and wholesome ingredients.

"We think that people deserve a product that does not have chemicals, and when we talk about a homemade cookie, we're talking about the way they used to make (them) back in the '30s," he said.

Granny B, Diane's mother, is no longer living, but Homolik believes she would be thrilled to see how her idea to sell cookies has turned out.

Move over, Mrs. Fields. Granny B's Cookies are on the rise.