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Aug 9, 2011 3:02 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Two Brands of Cookie Compete For The East End Market

Aug 9, 2011 5:15 PM

For decades, Kathleen King’s cookies have been a star local brand, selling like hotcakes at farm stands and retail shops across the East End.

This summer, however, a new rival dressed in similar packaging, Hampton’s HomeMade, has popped up alongside—and, in some cases, in place of—Ms. King’s brand, Tate’s Bake Shop, on the shelves. And the man behind the new brand is a former Tate’s distributor who was fired in February.

Tate’s Bake Shop is based in Southampton Village with its cookies manufactured in East Moriches. Hampton’s HomeMade packages list a Quogue address, although Ken Patrick, the Hampton Bays resident who launched the label, said that is the location of his warehouse. He declined to reveal where his cookies are made, other than to say they are made at two bakeries on Long Island—but not on the East End, though he said his ultimate goal is to have them made on the East End. His business partner, Kathryn Kaplan, who owns a store, Garlic & Oil, in Sparta, New Jersey, likewise declined to divulge where the cookies are made.

Ms. King was reluctant to discuss the new brand of cookies this week. “It’s just one of those unpleasant situations, and I’m not one to want to have to badmouth anyone,” she explained. “The only way really I can explain it would be to make that person look really bad, and that’s not my goal.”

Mr. Patrick had worked at Tate’s as a distributor for about a decade before he was fired this winter. Neither he nor Ms. King would say why.

“I had to let him go for various, extremely valid reasons that any person in business would do,” said Ms. King. “He tells whatever tale he feels he needs to tell, and some people support him and some people don’t. And, you know, it’s not my style of doing business.”

Is it a cookie war or just the way the cookie crumbles?

An 8-ounce clear cellophane package of cookies—which Tate’s calls its “signature product”—for both brands were selling for identical prices of $6 at a sampling of local farm stands. According to two different retailers who stock the brands, the packages wholesale at comparable prices as well, from about $3 to $3.50 per package.

For one popular flavor, chocolate chip, Tate’s and Hampton’s are strikingly similar. Both are firm, flat cookies of approximately the same weight, with about 12 to 13 cookies per package. The Tate’s cookies tend to have more visible chocolate chips protruding from their surface, as well as small crevices in the dough. The Hampton’s brand tends to have more hidden chocolate chips and a smoother, more uniform surface.

Each brand of cookie contains 90 calories, of which 40 come from fat, according to their respective nutritional labels. They have identical figures for total fat (4.5 grams), cholesterol (15 milligrams), total carbohydrates (11 grams), sugars (7 grams) and protein (1 gram). The Tate’s chocolate chip cookie has slightly less saturated fat (2.5 grams, as opposed to Hampton’s 3 grams), while it has more sodium than Hampton’s (90 milligrams versus 70 milligrams). As for taste—that is in the eye of the beholder.

The soft green Tate’s label with the large white “T” and white, curving flowers has given way in some places to the sand-colored Hampton’s HomeMade label with an illustration of a box of flour, butter and eggs on a checkered tablecloth beneath the powder-blue lettering of the brand name.

Several former retailers of Tate’s cookies, such as the Country Garden stand in Bridgehampton, Hank’s Farm Stand in Southampton and Densieski Farm Stand in East Quogue, have decided this year to drop the popular brand in favor of the new one. Others, such as Lisa and Bill’s Farm Stand in Wainscott and the Sunset Court Delicatessen in Westhampton Beach, stock both brands. Those who have stuck with Tate’s include, for example, the Halsey Farm Store in Water Mill and the Green Door Market Cafe in Hampton Bays. Pantigo Farm Stand in East Hampton has started selling cookies this season, and Tate’s was their cookie of choice. Some of the stands and shops also sell other cookie brands, such as Sweet Andy’s Cookies, Gabi’s Organic Artisanal Goods, Round Swamp Farm and Christopher’s Hamptons Bakery. Tate’s and Hampton’s, however, tend to occupy the greatest chunk of shelf space.

Ms. King said she has visited some of her former retailers to see whether her company “may have done wrong,” but, ultimately, she said, she cannot control which brand retailers choose.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By peggy, southampton on Aug 9, 11 6:24 PM
Tate's continues to be my choice
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 10, 11 2:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
Tip for small business owners -- don't hire employees who have the savvy and means to steal your business model.
By Mr Suffolk (113), Twin Forks on Aug 10, 11 4:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sag Harbor Baking Company makes the best oatmeal raisin cookies but Tates makes the best chocalate chip cookies and coconut layer cakes, in my humble overweight opinion. Finally,Southampton Press, an issue we can sink our teeth into.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Aug 10, 11 7:59 PM
Hamptons HomeMade ??? they are NOT made in the Hamptons and they are NOT homemade !
By AndersEn (174), Southampton on Aug 10, 11 9:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
ok. I'll add a comment. Cookies are just no longer my desired snack. I opt for olives, cheese, grapes, melon, myself.

But Katthleen has been through enough...hasn't she? I say. "WHOA! Nellie.
Can't everybody just get along?
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Aug 10, 11 11:25 PM
Well as they say, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or something like that. People love "food wars" so maybe some new marketing schemes are in order! A little friendly competition could go a long way. With that said, as far as chocolate chip cookies go, the best ones are the ones that come out of your own oven!
By bchgrl83 (52), Westhampton Beach on Aug 11, 11 8:39 AM
Tates has good cookies... but I went to their shop once, and the employees behind the counter had some bad attitudes. Not sure if I want to give them a second chance. Bad customer experience.
But good cookie :)
By marybmary (54), east hampton on Aug 11, 11 12:37 PM
maybe it was Ken
By just breath (82), yuck on Aug 11, 11 1:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
I for one miss Kathy's double chocolate brownies. Went very well with Gran Marnier.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 11, 11 5:34 PM
Tate's is my pick because they Tate's Great....
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Aug 13, 11 12:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Tate's is great. Good luck to the Sag Harbor Baking Co.!!
By Spikeland67 (25), Sag Harbor on Aug 13, 11 4:59 PM
ken and kathryn are free to conduct themselves in this manner but the fact is, its lame. kathleen has earned her reputation and the ability to charge $6 which judging by her popularity represents a valuable item/service. for someone to capitalize on someone else's life of effort and to fake it in such a way while maybe legal, it certainly isn't reflective of earning anything. in not divulging where the product is made but calling it hamptonsmade it just doesn't feel right. the ingredients might ...more
By kaluss (113), Southampton on Aug 13, 11 6:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nice job! This is America and it was built on competion... go get her baby , Maybe this year she wont close at 11:30 on Thanksgiving. Bet she thought twice about her decision to fire you now.This is what we have been talking about in a different thread, its your right to change your life so stop bitching about a job you don't like ( Verizon thugs ) and change your life. BRAVO Mr. Patrick you are now successful get ready for some people to hate on you now that you have found your way.
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Aug 13, 11 9:19 PM
Maybe you'll plan better, so being home with family on Thanksgiving Day for her employees is possible.

Maybe you'll plan around it, so it doesn't annoy you, and at the same time, have courtesy for a local business' employees, on National Holiday.


And, I mean that as respectfully as possible...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 14, 11 5:44 PM
2 members liked this comment
BS you want to run a retail store than be there for your customers or risk losing them to a better run operation
Aug 14, 11 6:19 PM appended by Undocumented Democrat
the choice is hers to close and her employees to quit and also Joe's to go where he feels he gets better service. Its called competition freedom of choice something we used to value in this country. but that was before you generation, raised on everyone gets a participation trophy and no keeping score was allowed
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Aug 14, 11 6:19 PM
I rest my case.
Aug 16, 11 6:29 PM appended by Mr. Z
You assume so much about "my generation". Because ot my parent's divorce, I got to play ball in SW PA,. I went to the district NEXTDOOR to Ringgold. You know, the place where Joe Montana went to high school. Brother, we kept score. 10-0 Junior year, and 9-1 Senior year. You done yet? 'Cause I'm just gettin' warmed up...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 14, 11 6:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Maybe you should rest it more often ( just a thought )
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Aug 15, 11 3:44 PM
Yeah, but I've been felled silent for so many years by mis/undiagnosed apnea, I simply want to taste it all.

I'll try, though...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 16, 11 9:33 PM
Not baked in the Hamptons? NOT HOME MADE?? What a misleading name for a product! Not the kind of company that appeals to my taste!! Kind of sneaky and quite a misrepresentation!! And yes, I love Tate's!!!
By allenfein (72), Southampton on Aug 13, 11 11:02 PM
HHM will have a long way to go to compete with Tate's at this point.

Tate's is now widely distributed.
By concerned east ender (49), Sag Harbor on Aug 14, 11 9:28 AM
You can buy the exact same cookies for $1 less at Trader Joe's under the name "Highbrow Chocolate Chip Cookies."

They are exactly the same as Tates and are probably made by them and distributed under Trader Joe's name brand
By btdt (449), water mill on Aug 15, 11 2:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Kathleen was the first! You know the story? Little girl likes to bake cookies and asks her father if she can sell some at his farm stand. True American tale of hard work and dilligence to quallity product. Can't beat that.
Even if you cheat and steal that product will never taste as good the original.

Way to go Kathleen!! We knew ye when a little tot with flour on your chin.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Aug 15, 11 9:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
There is nothing wrong with a bit of competition.
By Miss K. (103), East Quogue on Aug 15, 11 11:10 PM
Sweet Andy's cookies rock. They are softer and yummier! Made locally by a local family. Give em a try - they are worth it!
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on Aug 16, 11 6:08 AM
1 member liked this comment