Cookie company coming back to Buckhead
Atlanta-based Great American Cookies is returning to Lenox Square after just a few months on the sidelines. When I broke news in late December that the longstanding cookie vendor had left Lenox Square, the response was overwhelming. Customers, owners, competitors, Atlantans: everyone had a thought about or memory of the popular store. One comment came from Chris Dull, President and CEO of Global Franchise Group, the franchisor of Great American Cookies.
"Great American Cookies and Global Franchise Group have a wonderful partnership with Simon Properties and Lenox Square Mall. I’m happy to announce that our relationship is continuing as we are busy finalizing the details for a new Great American Cookies at Lenox Square Mall. The previous franchisees, who currently operate eight locations in four malls throughout the South East and are also opening a new store in
Polar Pooler, are valued members of the Great American Cookies family. We look forward to continuing to provide Lenox Square Mall shoppers with our delicious and fresh cookies and Cookie Cakes. We hope to open the new location this spring and will keep the public informed of our plans. A special thank you to our loyal Great American Cookies fans for their love and support of our brand.” – Chris Dull.
I spoke to Dull by phone earlier today and confirmed the chain's return to Lenox Square. The new Great American Cookies will open in Kiosk "107A" on the mall's second floor. Located at the top of the escalator near Godiva and Brooks Brothers, the new location will be slightly larger than its predecessor. With limitations on space, the new shop will bake their cookies in the same dedicated kitchen within the mall that they used previously. The new Lenox Square Great American Cookies will sport a new, more updated look, similar to the appearance of the GAC at North Point Mall in Alpharetta.
According to Dull, Simon Property Group was not obliged to offer a lease renewal in the former space, and the previous franchiees were unable to come to terms on a relocation to the second floor.
I contacted Valerie and Stewart Applebaum, former operators of GAC at Lenox Square, who issued the following statement:
"We were offered another location above the escalators and accepted it. Unfortunately, we could not come to terms on a new lease and so we had to leave the mall."
Not wanting to completely vacate the mall, GAC made the Lenox Square location available to existing qualified franchisees in the GAC network. According to Dull, the Lenox Square location will be operated by a franchise group that already operates GAC locations at Cumberland Mall and Town Center at Cobb.
Dull lamented that unfortunately the store is not scheduled to open until April 1st, effectively missing the robust Valentine's Day holiday business.