Gramma's Cutters CEO
My first memory of Christmas cookies was when my Grandmother, Bunny Pittenger, let me help decorate Santa cookies in my highchair. Every holiday, she would bring out the Merry Xmas Set she bought from Aunt Chick back in 1949, and a beloved family tradition was passed on.
It was in 2001, after my Grandmother passed away, that I decided to bring new life to this cherished tradition. By the time Aunt Chick died in 1982, her cutters had not been produced in decades and bakers began hoarding them for fear they would never be available again. As a result, my family had located and bought a production mold to make the Jolly Santa Cutter. In August of 2001 with my experience as a graphic/web designer, I created a website called www.grammascutters.com and started selling the Santa Cutter over the Internet.
By early September I stumbled upon a gentleman in Tulsa OK with 18,000 of Aunt Chick’s Cookie Cutters in storage. I bought them all and soon my house was packed with cookie cutters from floor to ceiling! I took out a small ad in the Martha Stewart Living December 2001 issue. The response was phenomenal! In just the first few months I was in business, I had made back all of my initial investment.
In 2002 I made a reproduction mold of Aunt Chick’s Angel and Cowboy Cutters. After a diligent effort, earlier this year in 2004, I contacted and convinced Aunt Chick’s Granddaughter to sell the original production molds of the Merry Xmas Set, Happy Days Set, Special Days Set, and Garden Set to Gramma’s Cutters. At the 2004 Cookie Cutter Collectors Club Convention in Pittsburgh, PA, I announced the exciting news and received an overwhelming response.
Fall of 2004 I worked with students from my Alma Mater, the Columbus College of Art and Design, to come up with a new packaging design for the cookie-cutter line. It will be a scholarship project for approximately 40 students and it’s a great way for them to be able to showcase their talents for their portfolios.
Over the past 16 years, my life has changed greatly with the marriage to my husband John and having our two daughters. This has kept my life very busy as well as full. I am finally able to share with children of my own my love of Aunt Chick’s Cookie Cutters, the fabulous traditions that have formed in our family around them, and the wonderful memories they have created.
My website is dedicated to all things Aunt Chick including her food columns, recipes, and personal history. The original five sets of Aunt Chick’s cookie cutters have been available online since Christmas 2004. My wonderful mother helps with the shipping and receiving of the cutters so it really is a “family business”.
Although my goal is to grow the company eventually these cutters have made my life so full hearing all of the wonderful stories through the website, email, and over the phone. I have cried many times from people who share beautiful moments and memories that include Aunt Chick and her cutters. I have been truly blessed to be a part of bringing these back to the market and I hope I have done Aunt Chick proud.
I want to help future generations create the same heart-warming memories that so many others and I have experienced thanks to Aunt Chick. These cutters make more than just cookies; they are a labor of love that brings family and friends together in the holiday spirit.
~ Carrie Falzone
Founder and President of Gramma’s Cutters, Inc