Making dough from dough

Chennai: Dough from dough is the mantra for the Peter Elligett, 43, managing director of the Australian company Cookie Man Pty Ltd (

With the markets expanding, he plans to make India his dough base. Nearly 60 per cent of the company's A$20-million turnover comes from selling dough, and the balance from contract manufacturing of cookies.

Ex-McDonaldian Elligett's Cookie Man is the world's third-largest cookie chain (32 outlets in Australia and 78 in 12 other countries) after Mrs Fields, USA, and Millies, UK.

In India, Cookie Man has a joint venture, Cookie Man India. “It is the first and only joint venture for us in the world. In all other countries, we have licensed the local players,“ says Elligett. The Indian company holds the exclusive license for the brand in South Asian markets.

When Elligett first joined Autobake, an Australian oven company with a single cookie outlet at the Myer's departmental store in Melbourne, Elligett sensed the immense potential for a stand-alone cookie chain. He bought out the outlet and the Cookie Man brand for A$1.5 million in 1997.

After the management buyout, it was time to invigorate the brand and the “store-in-store“ concept within and outside Australia. Following the franchising model, he expanded the chain in Australia and licensed local entrepreneurs in other countries. While there are no ongoing service charges or royalties, Cookie Man makes its profits by shipping the cookie dough to franchisees / licencees from its 4,500-sq ft commissary in Sydney.