The Grey Ghost Bakery story is born of the best memories of childhood. Baking cookies in the kitchen of her childhood vacation home on Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, Katherine Frankstone had no idea that she would one day lead a business that shares sweet treats with the world. Now, from her Charleston-based bakery, Katherine produces scrumptious cookies that leave a lasting impression and a good feeling that lingers.
Grey Ghost Bakery’s founder Katherine Frankstone learned the craft of baking alongside her father. In her crispy sweet cookies, Frankstone delivers more than just great taste. Using cookie recipes handed down generation after generation, she also reminisces of childhood days spent in Grandma’s kitchen. “Recapturing that culinary magic in our products is so important,” Frankstone says, recalling her own childhood days spent baking in her family’s Pawley’s Island beach house. “Family moments mean everything, and special treats are always at the heart of great memories. I want to recreate that feeling in every bite.”
In founding Grey Ghost Bakery, Frankstone focused on developing product names, the company logo, and branding. She named her enterprise for South Carolina’s legendary Grey Ghost, a friendly spirit who keeps watch to protect residents. “I wanted to create a different type of bakery. One with signature products and a regional flair,” Frankstone explains.
Each cookie is preservative free, shaped by hand, and made with all natural ingredients. Aligned with local food suppliers, Frankstone cultivated strong community relationships and gained vital recognition in the process. “Great recipes and premium, real ingredients are the keys to our freshness and taste.”
MV: So Katherine, you started baking cookies for family and friends. Now you’re the founder of Grey Ghost Bakery. What has the process been like to go from non-profit fundraiser to full-time business entrepreneur?
KF: We had no idea that our cookies would be so well-received. We launched the business in 2012, and it’s been steadily growing ever since. In fact, to keep up with increasing demand we recently moved our operations to a 12,000 square foot baking and warehouse facility in Charleston.
MV: Can you tell us about the growth process? Does this mean you continue to expand your product line beyond your initial offerings of molasses spice, chocolate espresso, and cinnamon pecan cookies?
KF: We’re always evaluating new flavor options, both sweet and savory. In March, we launched a new lemon sugar cookie. Our lemon sugar cookies are hand-topped with pearlized sugar and candied lemon peel, and they’re quickly becoming our customers’ favorite. We were delighted to receive 2014 SOFI Award finalist recognition for Outstanding Cookie by the Specialty Food Association. The win completely validated our vision for a different kind of bakery.
MV: Grey Ghost Bakery cookies are available online as well as at specialty retailers across the country and in Canada. Your products have even been launched in select Whole Foods Markets. How do you keep pace with demand?
KF: The internet helped build our business, and our blog and Facebook help us share great news in real time. We are a tight-knit staff at Grey Ghost, and we keep each other motivated, even when the days seem too short on hours. It’s been a whirlwind, but every day is exciting and incredibly satisfying. With our recent expansion to new facilities, we’re better prepared for higher demand and distribution. And we can’t wait for what comes next!
MV: Thanks, Katherine!