In 1995, caterer, Sallie Lynch forgot to prepare a dessert for a client's luncheon. She took a quick inventory of the ingredients on-hand and brainstormed a solution: a favorite cookie recipe of her mother's. The sweet, crunchy toffee cookies were a huge success and she was bombarded with requests to purchase them. Soon, Sallie was operating a small cookie company as a sideline to catering, baking batches and batches of cookies in the kitchen of her father's guest cottage at Wrightsville Beach, NC.
It was an exciting time, not only because of the demand for her cookies, but because she and Carter Price were falling in love. For their wedding, they chose a date in September of 1996. As the date approached and last minute details were being handled, Hurricane Fran struck Wrightsville Beach. After what Sallie describes as “strong bridal emotions,” the big Southern-style ceremony and party were cancelled and they were wed in the company of a small group of family members and friends.
Despite the stormy beginning, Sallie and Carter Price were happy and Sallie's cookie company continued to grow. Sallie left the catering business behind and focused on her cookies. She could no longer meet demand by baking in the single oven of the guest cottage, so the business was moved into the Prices' new home.
For their first Christmas, Sallie and Carter rescued an Akita mix at the Humane Society Shelter and named her Gracie. Gracie grew into such well-behaved companion that the Prices decide to rename the cookie business “Goodness Gracie” in her honor. Sallie's cookie sales were doubling annually and Carter continued to work in the tool business.
In 1998, there were major developments. The Prices had their first child, Carter, Jr., and they added a new Goodness Gracie product: “Sinful Salted Pecans.” Finally, in 2000, the continued growth of Goodness Gracie led to some big decisions. After much discussion, Carter quit his job, Sallie and Carter formed the Goodness Gracie partnership and the business was reorganized and moved into a commercial space. As if that wasn't enough for one year, the Prices welcomed their second child, little Will. The family grew further in 2003 when they adopted another homeless dog, Lucy!
With the new commercial space and higher production capability, Goodness Gracie began to focus more on wholesale operations. They began by providing products to gourmet shops across North Carolina and soon expanded into other states. The rapid growth has continued and shows no sign of stopping as more and more people discover what Goodness Gracie has to offer. Wholesale orders now account for 75% of business and Goodness Gracie is being sold in 42 states!
The Prices now attend the major food shows in New York, Atlanta and Chicago and are fortunate to have the help of a retired major food company executive in planning for continued growth and expanding their product line. They credit the Small Business Technical and Development Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a “very good accountant” with giving them valuable advice and assistance.
Despite Goodness Gracie's rapid growth and expanding workforce, Sallie and Carter continue to be thoroughly involved in production. Goodness Gracie's gourmet foods are still made in small batches to retain their home-made quality.
|contact us at email@example.com or by phone at 910-792-0800.
We are located at:
PO Box 7701
Wilmington, NC 28406