Albert L. “Bud” Cason was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. As a child, he enjoyed spending time in his aunt’s bakery, Greg’s Cookies. While pursuing his college education, Bud was drafted into the United States Army where he served 2 years as a combat medic. After serving our country, Bud completed his education and knew that he wanted to be in the cookie business.
Bud returned to his aunt’s bakery where he spent time working in all areas of production, including as a route salesman and in executive level management. In 1970, he purchased the bakery from his aunt and set about selling cookies differently than before.
Bud developed new packaging in multi-cookie packages as opposed to selling from a cookie jar. He sold to new markets and weathered the storms of price freezes and commodity cost explosions. He expanded Greg’s Cookies’ gross sales from $1 million per year to $10 million.
In 1983, Bud purchased Bishop Baking Company. He saved Bishop from bankruptcy by implementing the same strategies he used at Greg’s. Bud sold Greg’s Cookies and Bishop Baking in 1986, which had combined revenues of $23 million. He signed a non-compete agreement with a five year term.
Bud truly missed the cookie business, and in 1991 he founded Bud’s Best Cookies without one single customer or commitment for sales. He had new innovative ideas for Bud’s Best. While taking a nutrition class at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he decided bite-size cookies would be perfect for consumers wanting just one bite of something sweet.
Bud purchased an 89,000 square foot building in a corporate office area and built an automated plant. The first batch of Bud’s Best Cookies were sold in April of 1992. While developing a full line of bite-sized cookies under his label, Bud’s Best, Bud also successfully rolled out a line of products for a national brand. Sales have grown from $1.8 million that first year to currently over $33 million. The plant has undergone numerous additions and upgrades over the years. Current capacity stands at more than a million cookies per hour. At almost eighty years old, Bud just purchased a sugar wafer line, as he has always wanted to produce sugar wafers in his factory.
Bud’s Best Cookies employs approximately 175 employees. Each year, Bud returns 30% to his employees in year-end bonuses and donates 10% to his church.
Throughout his many successful years in the cookie business, Bud has always put God first, his family second, and his business third. With an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit, leadership ability, the desire to inspire those around him, and a lot of hard work, Bud Cason is an icon in the cookie industry.
Click here to read the 2017 ASB Baking Hall of Fame Announcement in bakingbusiness.com.
Click here for a slideshow of the BakingTech 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on February 27, 2017.
Click on the images below to view .pdf files of the inductee’s biography and plaque.