By Megan Brewer
Walk through Sawmill Square Mall and the sweet smells emanating from Classic Cookie linger throughout the hallways.
Classic Cookie has been owned and operated by Jane and Danny Martin since 1992 when they bought the store from the previous owner. “It just fell into our lap,” Jane Martin said.
Classic Cookie has been in the mall since it opened in 1981, but it was then called Great American Cookies.
The Martins sell cookies, cookie cakes, ice cream and beverages, such as soda, water and Powerade. Their most popular item, said Jane, is the chocolate chip cookie. The employees at the store can decorate the cookie cakes, or “Cakie Giants,” that come in chocolate chip. If a customer wants a certain photo on the cake, it can be transferred into a fun, edible form. They come in 9-inch, 12-inch or 16-inch sizes or regular slices, like pizza. They’re “made to order while you wait, in about 30 minutes, or call ahead.”
Classic Cookie is a company that makes the cookie dough, and Jane orders it and bakes it at her store. Jane’s only shop is in Laurel, although there is another Classic Cookie in Hattiesburg.
Jane’s daughter Danielle was 7 years old when her parents bought the store and now she works alongside her mother.
One thing Jane loves is giving back to the community.
“I have a college degree as a youth director in Christian education, so I contacted the schools about their co-op program,” Jane said. “We hired teenagers to teach them how to work, starting here at a Level 1 job. We started that in ’94. Give me students who want to learn, and I’ll teach them. It looks like all we do is sell cookies, but we teach them discipline and responsibility.”
She has noticed a small business boom since the debut of the Laurel-based HGTV show “Home Town.” She’s met out-of-towners and said if anyone wants anything sweet, Classic Cookie is the place to stop.