Prior to starting Bud's Best in 1991, Bud Cason owned and ran Greg's Cookies in Birmingham. He purchased the business in 1970. Sales were only one million dollars per year. In 1983, he purchased Bishop Baking Company (a snack cake company) in Cleveland, TN. He sold the two companies in 1986 when revenues were 23 million. Bud had to sign a 5-year non-compete agreement.
Bud's Best Cookies began construction of the 89,000 sq. ft. building in 1991. The first cookies were sold in April of 1993. Sales for 1993 were 1.8 million. Bud Cason started a whole new concept (bite size cookies) and very few of his "old" customers were willing to switch brands. They were still selling the full-size, economy cookies. Bud was now making an upscale, bite size cookie.
Since 1995, Bud's Best has been contract manufacturing for a national baking company and won the "Co-packer of the Year Award" in 1998 for manufacturing excellence.
We started the third addition to the factory in 2001, and it was completed in 2002. We added an additional 47,000 square feet of warehouse space and extended one of our 80 foot ovens to 160 feet doubling our sandwich cookie production capability from four thousand to eight thousand sandwich cookies per minute!
We have two other lines that make wire-cut and rotary cookies, and we can make around 3,500 per minute on each of those lines. The total capacity (output) is over 1 million cookies per hour.
Over the years our facility has grown to over 130,000 square feet, and our 2011 sales were over 33 million. Our company continues to grow despite stiff competition and slotting fees - the "rent" retailers usually demand just to "allow" you on the shelf.
Bud Cason was Small Business Man of the Year for Shelby County in 1998. Bud's Best Cookies was voted by the Birmingham Business Journal as one of the best small businesses in Birmingham for 1998 and 1999. At a special luncheon in May of 2002, Bud's Best Cookies was presented Business of the Year Award by the Leadership Alumni Association of Shelby County.
Bud Cason has been in the cookie business for over 50 years. In April of 2012, at a special meeting of employees and management, Bud announced that he was promoting his son, Al, to company President. Bud will remain CEO and Chairman of the Board.