Small Business Spotlight - The Cookie Factory
Going into business with family is not a new concept for brothers Chris and Joe Alberino – their father, grandfather and uncle owned and operated Alberino & Sons in the 1960s. In 2006, the brothers followed suit by establishing their own business together, The Cookie Factory. The Cookie Factory is a local wholesale and retail bakery with locations in Troy and Clifton Park, NY. The Troy location serves as The Cookie Factory's main manufacturing facility where they produce all of the products for their retail stores as well as 1,500 supermarkets and convenience stores.
After a great experience obtaining an auto loan at Sunmark Credit Union, the brothers approached Sunmark for additional financial assistance for their growing business. Through the partnership, Sunmark helped The Cookie Factory save a significant amount of money through debt consolidation and also allocated working capital for them to purchase inventory in greater quantities.
Like many others, Covid- 19 has impacted their business, but they now face another issue. “As I’m sure just about everyone faced many challenges during Covid, we now find ourselves with the challenge of finding labor to help with our manufacturing,” said Chris Alberino.
Challenges like this affords business owners like Chris the opportunity to look back and take stock of what they may have done differently as their business expanded. “For me, I would have stuck to our first plan, just be a cookie manufacturer. I love having the retail stores and feel they’re great for the community, but they take a lot more work than manufacturing.”
Despite the challenges, Chris and Joe are dedicated to their passion and their community by creating a vast variety of baked goods. In addition to their famous cookies, one thing remains the same: the quality. Every day, the Alberino brothers strive to provide their customers with quality baking that their father and grandfather would proudly stand behind.
What’s their one piece of advice for other entrepreneurs and business owners? “Make sure you are happy doing what you do. Don’t do it just for the money,” said Chris. “Businesses are perpetual, they are like babies. You have to constantly watch it, nurture it, and be there for it!” he added.
With any business, a true financial partner is also key. “Everyone at Sunmark makes doing business with them far more personal,” said Chris. “For me, that is everything. They are constantly trying to help with our business. I truly can’t say enough about the team that we get to work with at Sunmark. I would definitely rate them 10 out of 10.”