For cookie lovers

Metropol editor Lynda Papesch catches up with Christchurch businessman Guy Pope-Mayell, whose cookies are among New Zealand’s most trusted brands.

Earning the nation‘s trust is no mean feat, even in little old New Zealand. Yet trust, by the bucketful, just like his iconic cookies, is what entrepreneur Guy Pope-Mayell has reaped.
In Reader’s Digest’s 24th Annual Most Trusted Brands survey, Guy’s company Cookie Time was voted the most trusted cookie, and ranked 10th out of the 20 most trusted brands in the country.
Owning and running a family-owned business is an “absolute privilege”, says Guy, admitting too that it’s also a continual challenge to evolve. “That means each day brings fresh opportunities,” explains the man who four decades ago dropped out of university and started a cookie business with his brother Michael.

“I was midway through a Massey University business degree (accounting and marketing major) when the Cookie Time opportunity presented itself. I had gone to Massey with the intention of going into business, so leaving to get into business was an easy decision. Being in business with Michael was a bonus.”

He adds they’re “thrilled” to be the country’s Most Trusted Cookies brand for the third year running, and to jump from 20 last year to 10 this year in the most trusted rankings. The company’s OSM brand is also the winner of the inaugural Most Trusted Functional Sports Bar category.

The wins have made him “energised and excited” about the future, especially in such a fast-moving industry. “Innovation, visibility, and an authentic connection to customers and consumers are all top of mind,” Guy says.

Business aside, he loves to cook (not bake), and has been known to preserve large quantities of home-grown chillies. “My wife Suzanne and I have been vegan for about seven years, so I’m really inspired to explore plant-based recipes in the kitchen, and encourage plant-based new products in the business.”

Introducing new recipes to the business starts with a flavour profile that might be a response to market trends or a gap in the market, Guy explains.

“We have our own in-house product, and technical teams, and they go through a robust process to develop and perfect our recipes.
“This is a far cry from the early days, when we relied on friends and family surrendering their secret recipes to us.”

Guy’s business start-up advice:

Fail fast. This is about being bold, backing yourself and moving fast to take advantage of opportunities. If things don’t go your way, take the learnings and move on.

Be crystal clear on your brand proposition. That means knowing what you make and why, who your customer is and what you offer that is unique, and making sure that is all consistently expressed to the highest level.

Build high trust relationships with all of your stakeholders – partners, staff, suppliers, customers, and most of all your consumers.

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