Tate’s Bake Shop is a bakery in Southampton, N.Y., that sells its goods at retailers throughout the U.S. and via its website. Tate’s whole wheat dark chocolate cookies won a 2011 sofi Gold Award at the Summer Fancy Food show in Washington, D.C. I talked with owner and baker Kathleen King about the cookies, social media and issues facing the industry.
How do you set Tate’s Bake Shop apart from other bakeries?
Tate’s Bake Shop has created a unique type of cookie that is thin and crisp, unlike most other brands. We have strict quality control that has built a lot of trust with our customers and our brand. Mostly, we keep things simple, with high standards and excellent customer service. Over the years, we have maintained who we are: all-natural, simple American scratch baking.
Your whole wheat dark chocolate cookies won gold at the 2011 sofi Awards, and you also offer gluten-free options. Is this part of a health trend among consumers?
Yes, we do try to stay current with our customer’s needs, introducing products along the way that accommodate everyone’s sweet tooth.
I notice that you have a Facebook page. What has been your approach to social media?
Social media is a big part of staying in the game and maintaining contact and community with our customers. Tate’s Bake Shop’s Facebook page includes news about our Southampton bakery — new products available at the shop — and info about what I am doing professionally (speaking engagements, media appearances, etc). We also include discount codes for our e-bakery, tatesbakeshop.com, and we regularly invite fans to submit baking-related questions, which I answer weekly.
We also have a newsletter which is distributed monthly and includes a special Tate’s Bake Shop recipe. Currently we do not do Twitter.
What issues are affecting your industry? What can be done to address those issues?
Cost of goods, fuel, taxes and labor are affecting all of us. We stay on top of purchasing and try to buy before things go up and because we are a bit larger now, we are able to buy in larger quantities, which helps.