Great-Grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe from the 1920's, slightly modified, became LeAnne’s unique chocolate chip cookie recipe. Over the years LeAnne has added 5 other varieties to her exclusive line of cookies.
LeAnne often helped her mom in their kitchen. When LeAnne and her friend Suzann Keyes were in the third grade, they spent many exciting afternoons at LeAnne’s home baking cookies and decorating cakes.
As a Finance major at the University of Central Florida, one of LeAnne’s required marketing projects was to plan and set up a business, keep accurate records, and report any profits or losses her ‘cookie business’ generated. Her cookies were an instant hit with the college students, professors, neighbors, and friends, who were anxious to buy all the cookies she could produce. Her ‘cookie business’ immediately made a profit and the overwhelming demand for LeAnne’s cookies continued even after her professor gave her a “C” on the project. He emphatically stated, “People are becoming too health conscious and will no longer eat cookies; therefore, this business will NOT be a success”. Ignoring her professor’s harsh criticism and the ‘C’ on her project, LeAnne’s “cookie business” has continued to prosper for more than 25 years.
LeAnne recognized the need for being “Legal” and searched diligently for an affordable and approved facility where she could bake her cookies. A Pizza Shop, next to the grocery store where LeAnne worked part time, willingly allowed her to bake cookies after they closed Saturday nights. The Pizza Shop owners were impressed with LeAnne’s entrepreneurial spirit and did not charge her for the use of their facilities. LeAnne and her husband Travis always made extra cookies for the owners of the Pizza Shop to enjoy. This was a delicious way for LeAnne to say thank you to the owners and has become her slogan, “A delicious way to say Thank You.”
After LeAnne received her degree and moved to Seffner, Dusty realized LeAnne couldn’t keep pace with the demand for her exclusive cookies without her own commercial bakery. He made the challenge of supervising the building of the bakery in her double car garage if she could obtain the necessary building permits; “If you acquire the permits, I will supervise the building of your commercial bakery”. On Christmas day 1995, LeAnne gave her Dad the building permits as his ‘Christmas gift’.
Travis (LeAnne’s Husband) worked with Dusty, as they started the odyssey of building their commercial bakery. LeAnne’s unique bakery is equipped with commercial and stainless steel equipment.
TC, as he is known to the family, was anxious to help with the new bakery. He had fun getting dirty while digging the hole, under the entrance sidewalk, for the installation of the drain pipes for LeAnne’s bakery. TC has recently returned from Iraq, after serving a tour with the Army, where he was deployed to perform critical helicopter repair and maintenance.
LeAnne’s Mother (June) and her Grandma (Evelyn) always enjoy helping LeAnne bake, package and assemble the overwhelming amount of gifts from her bakery.
Amanda was 3 weeks old when she started wearing her signature beautiful red dresses on sales calls with her mom, LeAnne. It quickly became apparent Amanda needed her own business cards and was soon given the title ‘Client Relations Specialist’. As a baby, Amanda developed her own clientele who often asked for Amanda when placing their cookie orders. These are still some of Amanda’s loyal clients.
Amanda, 10 months old, was already anxious to help her mom and grandmother while they were baking in their kitchens. She later had her own playhouse with a custom kitchen and bakery in the Crabtree living room. She loved to imitate her mother by taking orders on her play telephone.
“LeAnne’s Old Fashioned Cookies” won the Brandon, Florida’s Chamber of Commerce, ‘Small Business of the Year’ Award in October 1999.
Here, LeAnne and her family participate in the Brandon, Florida’s Chamber of Commerce’s, “A Taste of Brandon”. Amanda brought her favorite doll dressed in one of the many red dresses Amanda wore on sales calls when she was a baby.
In 2007, Dusty and Travis began another extensive expansion of their home and bakery to accommodate LeAnne’s continually growing cookie business.
Since LeAnne’s Cookie Company continues to expand she has ventured into a custom website (LeAnnesCookies.com) with up-to-date DSL capabilities and a state of the art computer ordering system. As LeAnne found while baking cookies in the Pizza Shop, this will also give you “A delicious way to say Thank You to your clients and friends”.
LeAnne’s story is printed in a small booklet and enclosed with each of LeAnne’s cookie gifts. Amanda is eagerly learning each step of the business and loves being referred to as the next “Cookie Lady”. This has taken “LeAnne‘s Old Fashioned Cookies” into the 5th generation.