Mother’s Cookies- A Victim Of the Times
I really liked those frosted animal cookies.
(10-08) 17:21 PDT — Mother’s Cookies, an Oakland institution for 92 years, has been shuttered, its owner seeking bankruptcy protection for the company.
The ending was abrupt: Workers for the company, which shifted its baking and distribution operations to plants in Ohio and Canada in 2006, told workers Friday that operations would cease and cookies would no longer be made as of Monday.
The company cited rising prices for raw materials and fuel, and on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
The company that made Mother’s cookies at the end was the Archway & Mother’s Cake and Cookie Co. of Battle Creek, Mich. It was owned by Catterton Partners, a private-equity firm in Greenwich, Conn., which in 2005 purchased it from an Italian firm, Parmalat Finanziaria,
which was plagued by scandals at home.
In 2006, Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. was uprooted from its plant on 81st Avenue in Oakland and relocated. About 230 employees lost their jobs.
According to industry lore, the company was founded in 1914 by a newspaper vendor, N.M. Wheatley, as a one-person shop. It expanded and moved to the 81st Avenue location in 1949.
Mother’s later had a series of corporate owners: a Belgian company, Artal B.V., bought it in 1991; it was owned by Specialty Foods Corp. of Illinois in the late 1990s; in 2000, Specialty sold Mother’s and Archway Cookies to Parmalat, which in turn sold the combined business to Catterton for an undisclosed sum.”