Foose Cookie Cutters celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. While cookie cutters made in other countries may be a bit cheaper, the average price of their cookie cutters is still low at just $1.59.
Cookie cutters which bear the name "Foose" engraved on their shiny silver sides are worth the slightly higher price, said Kristy Killian, marketing manager and a member of the third generation in this family business. Foose cookie cutters provide bakers with a more defined cookie design, she said.
"My grandfather, Horman Foose, was a master craftsman," said Killian. "He took great pride in each design. We still use his rule – if you use our cookie cutters, you don't have to decorate the cookie to know what it is. Each shape is distinct."
The business went online in 2000. Customers from around the world, especially in Australia, Canada and Japan, enjoy visiting www.foosecookiecutters.comto browse more than 700 original cookie cutter designs.
The company also sells specialty baking equipment and supplies and dessert cookbooks online and in their cozy shop located at 18 West Poplar St. in Fleetwood.
"About 50 percent of our business is wholesale," said Killian, who began making cookie cutters with her grandparents, the late Horman and Maria Foose, when she was a middle school student.
"We sell to family-owned shops across the country. About 35 percent of our business is online and the other 15 percent is in our retail store."
In addition to traditional Christmas cookie shapes such as snowmen, candy canes, angels, bells and Santa, Foose sells cookie cutters shaped like guitars, kissing lips, baseball gloves, palm trees, dolphins, sailboats, umbrellas, peace signs, elephants, rocket ships and dinosaurs.
Kristy's mother, Sylvia Keller, leads all aspects of the business, including the retail store. Sylvia grew up in the family business, which was founded by her stepfather, tinsmith Horman Foose, and her mother, Maria. Kristy's sister, Stacy Richards, leads the effort to pack and ship cookie cutters around the globe. Their father, Richard Keller, supervises the manufacturing process, which takes place in a nearby Fleetwood building.
The family employs 10 to 15 people to make the cookie cutters.
The process for creating a cookie cutter involves several steps, Killian said. First, tin-plated steel is cut into specific lengths. The cutting machine also stamps the name Foose onto the metal.
Next, each strip of metal is placed in a rolling machine, which gives it a curve. After that, the metal is bent by hand around a pattern. The last step is to spot weld the cookie cutter into one solid shape.
"We take pride that we make our cookie cutters right here, by hand," said Killian. "We also try to purchase tin-plated steel and packing materials that are made in America. We believe in American workers and American-made products."