Pinto Pony Cookie Factory is pleased to announce that our cookies are now available in Brookshire Brothers grocery stores throughout the region. Make sure and pick some up on your next grocery stop! To find the nearest Brookshire Brothers store, visit http://live.brookshirebrothers.com/find-a-store.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, Pinto Pony Cookie Factory received the "Business of the Year" Award at the San Augustine County Chamber of Commerce's annual Awards Banquet at the San Augustine Expo Center.
Pinto Pony Cookie Factory held their first annual Breakfast with Santa last Saturday, Dec. 3, at their all new retail shop and restaurant and 102 E. Columbia in San Augustine. Thirty-seven children and their parents attended the event where Santa made his grand entrance escorted by a delegation of Pinto Pony elves. The children were served a breakfast of fresh hot pancakes, bacon, fruit and orange juice. Santa visited with each child about their Christmas lists and then read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the starry eyed youngsters. The children also received a bag of goodies from Santa including crayons and coloring books. Each child was photographed with Santa and parents can pick up a photo of their child at Pinto Pony Cookie Factory Wednesday, December 7.
Pinto Pony Cookie Factory has opened a new retail outlet in downtown San Augustine next to San Augustine Drug. The new outlet, owned by Jodi Johnson and Mike Jackson is very unique and almost complicated to describe. Of course they will sell their famous Pinto Pony cookies and breakfast bars but they will also offer much more.
For now, the outlet will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will offer breakfast and lunch. They are offering a variety of healthy foods, protein shakes, gourmet coffee and a kids menu. The outlet has flat screen televisions and will be open for Sunday and Monday night football games and for many of the Texas based sports events.
Johnson has announced that the Grand Opening for the Pinto Pony retail outlet will be help on Friday, October 21st, at 10:30 a.m. For the entire month of October, customers who purchase 2 bags of Pinto Pony cookies will get one bag free. Catering will be available with a few days advance notice and the retail store will be available to rent, with in-house catering, for birthday parties, anniversaries and other events.
In the upstairs portion o the building, Johnson has opened Augusta Records, a professional recording facility that will be made available to local artists by appointment only. Local singer/songwriter, Shane Mathews, will be in charge of Augusta Records. The local morning radio newscast, "San Augustine Speaks", will be headquartered at Augusta Records and host Tom Johnson will broadcast on 92/5 FM from that location each weekday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
Johnson and Jackson have also announced that land has been purchased on US 96, just south of San Augustine, and a new state-of-the-art cookie factory will be built on that location in the near future. The new factory is expected to be completed around April of 2012 and when at full production capacity it will employ over 100 people. The site of the new factory will be across from Bob Evans Equipment on the old Nathan and Willie Earl Tindall place. Johnson also announced that some of the property will be made available to the San Augustine Volunteer Fire Department to build a sub-station and fire training facility.
Johnson said a remodeling project is currently underway at the original Pinto Pony outlet on Harrison St., which should be completed in 3 to 4 weeks. This remodeling project will allow Pinto Pony to produce a larger amount of cookies and breakfast bars and hopefully keep up with the increasing demand until the new factory is completed. The Harrison St. facility will also serve as a training site for new employees who will work at the larger factory. Pinto Pony opened about 5 years ago and has been expanding ever since.
Pinto Pony Cookie Factory sells cookies in Texas-themed tins and boxes from its location just north of the courthouse square in downtown San Augustine, but it also ships them across this country and to 30 others. What's more, the family-owned company is gearing up to open a new 60,000-square-foot factory in its hometown, a move that is expected to create as many as 100 long-term jobs, and it will soon turn an old bank building in San Augustine into a new storefront with lots of cool, quirky touches.
In short, it's the epitome of a successful small business.
We join Texas Workforce Solutions, the Texas Governor's Office and the Texas Forest Country Partnership in applauding the Deep East Texas winners of the state's Small Business Awards, presented Wednesday during a luncheon in Lufkin.
Pinto Pony Cookie Factory was one of those winners, and its president/CEO, Jodi C. Johnson, spoke about how small businesses are a labor of love for people who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
"The luxury that large, corporate businesses have that we don't have is they have a lot of people that can do one job. For those of you that have a small business, you wear a lot of different hats. Sometimes you're the cash clerk, you're the stock boy or girl, you're the baker, the cookie maker. It's hard," said Johnson, whose parents, Tom and Samye, founded the company in September 2007. "It takes a certain love of community to create a small business, and it takes a certain type of really unique individual to come and work for a small company."
The cookie company is but one of the countless small businesses that have kept the Deep East Texas economy afloat as big-name companies and major industries have struggled. Jim Wehmeier, director of Lufkin's economic development efforts and a Texas Forest Country Partnership board member, noted that 70 percent of new jobs are created by small businesses. The "critical thing," economist Ray Perryman said at Wednesday's event, is "small businesses doing what you're doing."
"Bottom line, if you look at it: The Fortune 500 companies aren't creating any jobs. On balance, they're not laying off people off every year," Perryman said. "The mid-size companies are creating some jobs, but the vast majority of jobs are created by small business, and they're created because you provide a service that's better, that's more locally oriented, that meets a need, and that sort of thing."
We are glad Gov. Rick Perry's office and Texas Workforce Solutions are using some time and resources to recognize small businesses around the state, because they deserve a big hand for their contributions to both the economies and the communities in which they operate.
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - From different small businesses, they share a common goal: Working to pull East Texas out of an economic slump.
"We're just doing what we think we need to be doing and I think it's all just going to work out," said Jodi Johnson, CEO of Pinto Pony Cookie Factory in San Augustine. "We will not fail from a lack of trying."
In the middle of the recession, she started dreaming up an expansion that includes hiring on a couple hundred people in the next six months.
Economists say businesses can use the recession as a time to figure out how to run more efficiently.
"The recession has changed some things, but what it's changed is the type of work that people will be doing," said Ray Perryman, a nationally known economist. "These businesses as they come back, they'll be hiring people, but they'll be using different technology, they'll be doing different things."
While small business is said to be the backbone of national economy, the same holds true in East Texas and no one knows that better than the man in charge of an East Texas asphalt plant in Lufkin.
"Look forward," said Gene Carrier, president of East Texas Asphalt Company. "We don't, a lot of companies think short-term, what did we make this month, what does this quarter look like, we look three, four, five years down the road."
It's that kind of thinking that helped carrier's 40-employee company grow in an economic downturn.
"It speaks to the underlying strength of the community, the sense of the community, the cohesion the area has and that's something that I think East Texas has had for a long time," Perryman said.
The recession may be a difficult situation, but economists predict it's only temporary.
And Perryman says it's small businesses driving long-term sustainable growth.
SAN AUGUSTINE, Texas (KTRE) - A San Augustine business is baking their way into an expansion that is set to keep residents working closer to home.
Pinto Pony Cookie Factory started up about four years ago with about 10 workers baking cookies and now breakfast bars.
Today the company's CEO announced plans for a new facility that will eventually employ more than 100 workers.
Jodi Johnson was told to be successful and that she should take her cookie business to a big city.
She didn't and now she's set to bring more than 100 jobs to San Augustine.
"Pinto Pony can be to San Augustine what Hershey was to Pennsylvania. You just need one good idea, one opportunity and an entire town believing in it and I think you can make all the difference in the world," said Johnson.
At a chamber meeting this morning, Johnson announced Pinto Pony Cookie Factory would be expanding.
They plan to break ground on the new facility in mid-August...adding about 60 jobs on the first hire and another 50 down the road.
"It's neat seeing them come in and fill out an application," said Johnson, "there are a lot of kids who think that they have to when they leave school go to a big city to work and that's not necessarily the case."
Johnson's mother is the county judge and says this news could be a springboard for more growth in the small community.
"San Augustine has been a really well-kept secret," said San Augustine County Judge Samye Johnson, "we have everything that you want to be and have for your company here and other people are finding that out now, and I love that."
The cookies are shipped across Texas, but they're hoping the treats will become a national favorite.
"I want everyone to be able to recognize the Pinto Pony logo just as easily as they would recognize Kraft or Hershey's," said Johnson.
With sweet dreams and a recipe for success, Johnson hopes the news will keep residents closer to home and make them proud of their community.