Sara Litzenberger for NPR
Kathleen King was 11 years old when she started baking cookies to sell at her family’s farm stand on Long Island. After college, she opened a small bake shop, and eventually started selling her cookies to gourmet grocery stores in Manhattan.
But after twenty years of running a small business, she wanted more time for herself. She brought in two partners to grow sales, but the partnership was a disaster—and after bitter lawsuits, Kathleen was forced to start over from scratch.
18 years later, Tate’s Bake Shop—the second cookie brand that she built out of the crumbs of the first—sold for $500 million.
This episode of How I Built This was produced by Casey Herman and edited by Neva Grant. Research help from David Zha. Additional support from Jeff Rogers, J.C. Howard, Julia Carney, Elaine Coates, Farrah Safari, Liz Metzger, Harrison Vijay Tsui and Katherine Sypher. You can follow us on Twitter @HowIBuiltThis, on Instagram @HowIBuiltThisNPR and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.