Great American Cookies was founded in 1977 by Michael Coles and Arthur Karp. Each partner invested $4,000 to open a store inside the Atlanta Premier mall. The basic recipe for the cookies was one that was used by Karp’s grandmother.
The original Atlanta store is still in operation today. While it was originally believed that the company would not do well outside of mall locations, the company now has 290 locations across the U.S., not all of them located in shopping malls. The company has been sold several times, most recently in 2010 to Global Franchise Group.
In October 2020, co-founder Michael Cole published a book about leadership.
Great American Cookies makes and sells gourmet cookies such as chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut, and peanut butter cookies with M&M’s. The company also sells fudge brownies and cake cookies for special occasions.