Beyond Cookies --- Blue Chip Goes Gourmet With Nationwide Franchise Launch

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Twenty-five year-old Blue Chip Cookies is going gourmet with an imaginative nationwide franchise strategy backed by all-new ownership.

With the spirit that pioneered its first-in-the-nation White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie a quarter of a century ago, newly-branded "Blue Chip Gourmet" is in rebirth with a fully-expanded line of proprietary gourmet treats in upscale café settings.

Blue Chip Gourmet is under new ownership that includes four Senior Executives with extensive experience in food service and franchising. "The Blue Chip brand has earned an enviable reputation as a purveyor of top quality," notes CEO Greg Smith, former executive at Nestle USA. "We have what's arguably the best cookie in the country. We've kept the quality, but are taking things to a new level with a diversified range of exceptional, proprietary products." Developing and testing product and strategy in their Loveland, OH-based corporate store, the brand spent over two years in project development. In addition to their signature Blue Chip cookies, the cafés will serve up a revenue-producing selection of fresh gourmet-style products including coffees, smoothies, breakfast items, sandwiches, wraps, ice creams and desserts.

President Donna Drury-Heine, who brings 20 years at Proctor & Gamble to Blue Chip, reports that extensive research led the corporate team to position itself to meet a market need. "Single product franchises are failing because they can't sell around the clock. Additionally, customers aren't looking for a one-trick pony, but are seeking out a casual 'community' that provides delicious food no matter what the hour --- for a breakfast business meeting or an after-game ice cream stop with the kids. With our product line, we've got something for everyone." Part of the Blue Chip Gourmet model includes welcoming the spirit of community connection into the individual franchise with special programs. "Blue Chip Champions" awards kids for community service while "Amazing Women," an in-store speaker series, establishes the cafés as a neighborhood hub. "Our stores are invested in the community --- so that communities will be invested in them," adds Drury-Heine.

With models available for life style centers, strip centers or historic buildings, Smith says Blue Chip franchises are designed to drive the cost out of the system in any size market. "We've worked hard in the learning curve over the past 2 years to create what we call 'the recipe' --- the Blue Chip recipe for success. While developing systems for everything from training and marketing to product placement and café atmosphere, we've refined the process so new franchisees don't have to. We bring a turn-key strategy for success. And now we've positioned ourselves so they can get into a Blue Chip franchise for a more competative cost of similar shops." Smith says American franchises have exploded in popularity in the past five years. "In this volatile and ever-changing job market, people are trying to build security by replacing income and taking charge of their own destinies. Blue Chip Gourmet offers opportunities for people looking to get into an individual franchise as well as someone with the vision to develop a territory. The beauty of Blue Chip Gourmet is that we have a proven product name with a new twist. We're positioned to go nationwide. You can't go wrong getting onboard with that." Four new Blue Chip Gourmet stores are currently under development,.

Blue Chip Gourmet is a trademarked product currently available as a franchise in the United States only. For additional information on Blue Chip Gourmet or on this release, contact Donna Drury-Heine at 513.697.6610 or [email protected]

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