What was the first Cookie’s Kids store like?
In 1972 I found a small store I could afford in Jamaica, Queens. 16,000 square feet. Our first day open was the day after Thanksgiving. All we had was toys. I put them on the rack myself. We sold every single toy on the shelf. And we made enough to start buying clothing.
Why do they call you Cookie?
When I was born my aunt called me that. Everyone else always called me it, too.
What’s your favorite kind of Cookie?
What do you like about working in a family business?
My brothers and I – the three partners in Cookie’s Kids – we all respect each other. And each one of the brothers has a certain talent that complements the other. It works.
What have you learned from your customers?
Everything we’ve accomplished today we owe to our customers. They dictate what’s on the shelf.
What stands out as an example of the success Cookie’s Kids has achieved?
I value it when customers tell me how much they appreciate the stores or the website, but for me it’s how people in the industry look up to us. When a big wholesaler talks about you as one of the best children’s retailers, when guys from the big chains come visit the stores to see what we do – that’s how I know we’re doing something right.
What makes you proudest about Cookie’s Kids?
I take pride in the fact that in all the neighborhoods where our stores are, we give back. We give to local charities and donate uniforms to underserved students. We’re not just a company that takes. We take pride in giving back.