Mrs fields have been a household name in cookie business in America. It is interesting to search the story of inspiration behind this brand name cookie, which tempts, devours and tantalizes the senses. The inspiring woman behind this brand name cookie is Debbie Fields, who started her first cookie store in Palo Alto, California in 1977, as a humble young mother with no business experience. It was her sincere concern for people, her headstrong determination and dynamic personality which did the magic to her cookie brand.
“ Humble beginnings launched Mrs. Fields® into a worldwide celebrity and made her company the premier chain of cookie and baked goods stores”. (2007)Her focus is on quality more than anything else, and this has been responsible for her worldwide acceptance. She maintained her drive to produce highest quality product-everytime. “ That commitment has yielded products like no others, deeply satisfying personal indulgences that consumers just can’t get enough of”. (2007) This endeavor was all to take control of her life in the most creative and practical way. Her search began with exploring her interest.
Once she was sure she wanted to start the cookie business, she encountered the hurdles of home, society and finance once at a time, by her will and problem solving. She was initially discouraged right in her own home by her husband Randy, expressing that “ No business could survive just selling cookies” (2007) She faced it as a challenge starting with humble home business selling cookies on the street, creating her clientele with good service and quality cookies. She kept building her contacts and kept raising the quality and the standard of her cookies to the point, she became known for her brand of cookies.
Her success came when people started associating her cookies with the name. After this long journey of tests and trials came the time when she looked for finance through a bank, sold her concept and idea persuasively to the bank for a loan to start the first retail outlet of Mrs. Fields in Palo Alto, California in the year 1977. “ Humble beginnings launched Mrs. Fields® into a worldwide celebrity and made her company the premier chain of cookie and baked goods stores”. (2007)
“ To extend her vision, Mrs. Fields® began franchising in 1990…” (2007)She has achieved name recognition and approval from worldwide customers. (2007) Twenty-five years after opening the small shop and hitting the sidewalks of Palo Alto, Calif. , Mrs. Fields Bakery is one of the industry’s most recognized names. (Hornak, 2002) Mrs. Fields’ brand name draws as powerfully as the aroma of fresh baked cookies wafting out from one of the cookie shops (Garrison, 1990) It is the teamwork of the couple Randy Fields and Debbie fields which created the magical balance of the strategic marketing side, managed by Randy and the concept and the cookie culture part managed by Debbie.
The team works hard to create a challenging and strong team of workers, maintain loyal clientele and expand for future growth of the company. It is interesting Randy said these words “ I think the more we look back on competitors and other products, the less I’m persuaded that it’s whether they franchised or didn’t franchise, [whether] they made [a product] frozen or made it scratch,” he says. “ It’s more the culture that they built and whether their people cared predominately about quality or predominately about something else. “ He describes his wife as a “ genius at culture building. ” Something, he freely admits, “ I do not understand”.
“ I think the more we look back on competitors and other products, the less I’m persuaded that it’s whether they franchised or didn’t franchise, [whether] they made [a product] frozen or made it scratch,” he says. “ It’s more the culture that they built and whether their people cared predominately about quality or predominately about something else. “ He describes his wife as a “ genius at culture building. ” Something, he freely admits, “ I do not understand”. (Garrison, 1990) The story of success of the Mrs. Fields cookies began with the inauguration of the first cookie store Liddicoat’s Market in Palo Alto.
The company was registered with the financial banking of Ed Sullivan of Bank of America under the name of Mrs. Fields’ Chocolate Chippery on August 18, 1977. She had to take batch of her cookies to the streets to get customer exposure. The samples were liked by the people who later returned to buy the cookies. “ Providing free samples to potential customers remained a cornerstone of her business in the years to come”. (Fields’ Original Cookies, Inc. , 2006) The second store was opened two years later in 1979 at Pier 39 San Francisco at the request of builder Warren Simmons.
“ The Pier 39 store was so successful with its long customer lines that it caused problems for nearby businesses. The pressure was on to open more outlets”. (Fields’ Original Cookies, Inc. , 2006) In 1979 the company had three stores, in 1980 they opened a branch in Honolulu, Hawaii which survived after initial struggle. A few months later, a store was opened in the Crossroad Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, which later became their headquarters. In 1981 the company had 14 cookie outlets. “ In 1982 Mrs. Fields’ Cookies recorded sales of about $30 million.
By early 1983 the company had moved to Park City, Utah, and operated 70 stores from Honolulu to Chicago, and then it decided to open its first store in New York City”. (Fields’ Original Cookies, Inc. , 2006) Later they decided against Debbie’s strong belief in keeping the controls in her hand to Franchise her outlets to other countries and partners. “ In 1990, Mrs Field’s cookies operated 45 international stores in Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom, and it planned to expand worldwide using various joint ventures or licensing contracts which promised profits without significant investment”.
In early 1995 it was announced that the company planned to add 100 new stores overseas. After 1997 even though company exists, the teamwork broke as Randy and Debbie had a divorce. The management and other aspects of company was handed over to outside people and that personal caring aspect waas lost in the way of management. The company still exists as a brand name cookie outlet. In 1998 the sales figure of the company was $133. 6 million (Fields’ Original Cookies, Inc. , 2006)
When Mr. Fields cookies began in 1977, there were several gourmet stores that sold specialty cookies. Forbes reported that Mrs. Field’s Cookies had to deal with stiff competition from companies like Amos Chocolate Chip Cookie Corporation, started in 1975 by Wally (Famous) Amos, David’s Cookies started by David Liederman , the Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie Company headed by President Frank Bonanno and t the Original Cookie Company owned by Cole National Corporation and Original Great American led by President Arthur Karp. Mrs.
Fields survived the competition and made a mark of her own in the hearts and the minds of the people. (Fields’ Original Cookies, Inc. , 2006) “ By 1987 Debbi Fields had created 14 different kinds of cookies: Pecan Whites; Milk Chocolate with and without walnuts; Semisweet Chocolate with and without walnuts; Semisweet Chocolate with and without macadamia nuts; Coco-Mac with coconut and macadamia nuts; Oatmeal Raisin Nut, called Debra’s Special; Peanut Butter Dreams; Triple Chocolate that combined white and dark chocolate; Raisin Spice; White Chunk with macadamia nuts; and Royal Pecan.
Her stores also sold five kinds of brownies, her own ice cream, candy, and muffins”. (Fields’ Original Cookies, Inc. , 2006) The success of the Mrs. Fields cookies is truly an inspiring story of the determination and vision of a woman to identify her strength and with perseverance pursue her dream. The vision comes form her inner strength and faith in herself. But, the success of the Company is the result of teamwork and organization.
The Company had a great teamwork and shinning success, as a result of sound management, good technological strategy to use one of the first IBM’s and internet for the growth of their company, excellent product and services and great Franchises for expansion on international level. (Mrs Field’s Cookies Co-Founder’s Public Company Information, 2005) The worldwide expansion of the company is a mark of dream fulfilled and a dream and vision of a woman realized. “ The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it. ” (2007)