Byrd Cookie Company of Savannah, GA, baking “Byrd’s Famous Cookies” since 1924 for both Savannah locals and consumers around the world, has received kosher certification for its entire line of cookies from the Orthodox Union, the world’s largest and most respected kosher certification agency. For 90 years, and through four generations, Byrd’s continues its standard of using quality ingredients. Byrd Cookie Company President, Geoff Repella, says, “This endorsement is a long time coming. Using kosher and all-natural products has always been important to us; this process will formalize our efforts. We are excited for our customers to see the OU symbol on our packaging in 2014.”
Byrd Cookie Company has grown from its roots, since its founding by Benjamin Tillman Byrd, Sr., in locally delivering to regional merchants. While its international sales have expanded to reach six continents, OU certification is a welcome addition to its product line, company leaders say. Local loyalists were thrilled that the Original Scotch Oatmeal was the first cookie coming off the bakery line as OU certified, but national and international customers were quick to inquire about the company’s number one selling product, Key Lime cookies. All cookie lovers will be pleased, as every cookie flavor including Ginger Snaps, Lemon & Butter, Peach, Chocolate and Chocolate Chip baked in 2014 will bear the OU symbol on the package.
The company made a dramatic move in 2011 when Stephanie Lindley, daughter of Kay Curl, herself the daughter of the second generation company leader Benjamin Tillman Byrd, Jr. (“Cookie Byrd”), and her husband Benny Curl, took the helm as CEO and ushered in a new awakening for the brand. Building on relationships built throughout the years Stephanie inked deals with Fortune 500 companies like Nieman-Marcus and Delta. Locally she gave new life to the company, revamping the retail store, the Cookie Shop @ Byrd’s. She opened Byrd’s first off-site store in the heart of City Market in downtown Savannah, just a few steps from where her grandfather started the entire legacy. In late 2013 Stephanie opened BT Byrd’s in Drayton Tower. BT Byrd’s highlights a bit of everything the company does: focusing on cookies in a fun and lively atmosphere.
In December 2013, Rabbi Norman Schloss, OU Kosher rabbinic field representative for the southern region, visited Byrd’s Savannah bakery for a final inspection and verification, to assure that all OU Kosher standards and policies were in place. Byrd Cookie Company is excited to have the certification finalized so that all product packaging can now bear the coveted OU symbol. The certification is the culmination of documentation, ingredient sourcing, as well as kosherization of all the ovens, bands and baking equipment.
Rabbi Schloss, who worked closely with Byrd’s officials, was pleased to note, “It was truly a pleasure assisting this renowned Savannah institution into the ever-growing OU family of baking companies. Byrd Cookie Company well understands the value of maintaining long-standing traditions intact and is proud of its new association with the OU. Attaining OU certification is a source of great pride and satisfaction for the company.”