How did Smiley Cookies get their start? Well, it all began in Titusville, Pa., where America’s oil industry—and a sweet tooth—were born.
For more than 50 years, the bakers at Warner’s Bakery would awaken Titusville residents with the sweet smell of morning pastries like doughnuts, pies, Danishes. . .and a special sugar cookie adorned with a colorful, smiling face.
This smiling delight would shine from the Warner bakery case as workers made their way to oil wells and young children, like Jim Broadhurst, trudged off to Main Street Elementary School. Each day he would thank his lucky stars that his mother had given him a nickel from her pocket to buy one of those colorful, smiling sugar cookies. This childhood indulgence would spark an idea in Jim, decades later.
Eventually Jim grew up and started working for Eat’n Park Restaurants—a Pittsburgh-based family dining chain that originally opened in 1949 as a carhop restaurant—and under his guidance, it became one of the region’s most popular full-service restaurant chains with more than 57 restaurants throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.
In 1986, Jim worked with Warner’s Bakery to introduce a game-changing Eat’n Park menu item: the Smiley Cookie. With the blessing of Ellsworth Warner at Warner’s Bakery, Jim obtained the rights for Eat’n Park to create a Smiley Cookie inspired by the Warner’s Bakery cookie, without being an exact replica. Now guests could experience the sweet, simple taste of Jim’s go-to childhood snack and perhaps they, like him, might even feel a little like a kid again when they indulged in one. From then on, all Eat’n Park restaurants would serve Smiley Cookies and all children would receive a free Smile with their meal. This special treat would become synonymous with Pittsburgh, evolving into an unofficial city ambassador across the region as well as the nation.
Soon the demand for Smiley Cookies exceeded simply being an after-meal treat, with guests wanting these delicious delights for events, holidays, and other special occasions. Eventually Eat’n Park launched its Cookie Factory and SmileyCookie.com was born.
Today, you don’t have to be at an Eat’n Park restaurant to enjoy a Smiley Cookie. Whether for gifts, holidays, or special events, SmileyCookie.com ships Smiley Cookies all over the United States in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, creating Smiles for all ages. When you bite into a Smiley Cookie, it’s the snack that takes you back to that childhood sensation of earning a sweet treat at the end of your meal!
Smiley Cookies by the numbers:
- Launched in 1986 at Eat’n Park Restaurants in Western PA.
- More than 200,000 Smiley Cookies are donated to non-profit organizations every year.
- It takes about 43 muscles to smile and approximately 4 muscles to chew a Smiley Cookie.
- SmileyCookie.com ships to all 50 states.
- More than 2.5 million Smiley Cookies are enjoyed every year!