World’s biggest baking company snaps up mission-led maker of ‘hippie’ gluten-free and vegan cookies
According to the Mexican giant, the acquisition provides it with an “entry point into the quickly growing better-for-you cookie and sweet baked goods market.” The company announced the transaction during the release of its second-quarter earnings.
With humble beginnings as a maker of ‘hippie health food’, the deal will see Emmy’s Organics become a ‘legacy brand’ of the Mexican giant’s US business arm, Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU), alongside brands like Sara Lee, Entenmann’s, Thomas, and Arnold.
Emmy’s was established in 2009 by husband-and-wife team Samantha Abrams and Ian Gaffney, focused on catering for Ian’s restricted dietary cravings. At the time, the gluten-free space was still emerging and what was available was typically sub-par.
“When Ian taught me his coconut cookie recipe, we realised just how unique it was,” said Abrams. “Especially at that time, there weren’t any gluten-free products that also had clean ingredients that you could pronounce.”
Working in the kitchen of Gaffney’s mother (Emmy), the couple began making cookies and selling them at a local farmer’s market, subsequently growing into a company with a 30-plus workforce – Emmy’s is a living wage employer and employs a number of refugees from the Southeast Asian nation of Mayanmar – and a distribution base of over 20,000 retail outlets across the US and online.
‘Clean’ organic ingredients are the base of Emmy’s cookies, including coconut and coconut oil, agave syrup, Fairtrade dark chocolate, almond flour, vanilla extract and Himalayan salt.
The New York-based producers portfolio includes six cookies (five of which are vegan and grain-free) – Organic Dark Cacao, Organic Vanilla Bean, Organic Chocolate Chip, Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Birthday Cake and Organic Lemon Ginger – and a line of chocolate-covered vegan and gluten-free cookie bites. The company is gearing up for the launch of Brownie snaps in the next few months.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.