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McCormick in the lead


ALTON – Linda McCormick, owner of Cookie Factory and Cookie Express, is retiring effective January 1 from her booming business.

“Business is great,” said McCormick, owner of the Cookie Factory since November 1978. “I don’t retire because of business; it’s not because of the pandemic, not because of COVID or something like that.

“I want to spend more time with my family, friends, daughter and sister coming back from Canada to live in Godfrey,” she said.

The Cookie Factory, at 202 Alton Square, is one of the mall’s premier boutiques. There was only one owner for a few months that McCormick worked with.

“It was the first job I ever had,” said McCormick, who opened Cookie Express, at 121 Alton Square four years ago. “They had one in Chicago and wanted to sell this one.”

Its two locations are for sale. She said she had been thinking about retiring for a few months and became confident about it two weeks ago whether the companies are selling or not. She said there were two potential buyers and she wanted the business to continue and prosper as it always has.

“I hope someone will buy it,” she said.

She said she spoke with her husband, Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick, and daughter, Jennifer Camerer, about her decision to retire. They all agreed that the best time to retire is when the company is at the top.

“It’s a good time,” said McCormick, who said she wanted to travel more, play pickle ball and golf and ride a bike.

“We’re at the top, we’re busy, have a great company and great employees,” she said. “Everything is perfect and I think it’s time to retire and try to sell. We want it to continue. “

Not only has McCormick been at The Cookie Factory since virtually day one, but her family grew up there, working right next to her.

“My daughter was raised at The Cookie Factory, as were my grandchildren,” she said of Alexis Camerer and Brianna Camerer, now 26 and 22, respectively.

She anticipates that the last day that The Cookie Factory and Cookie Express will be open under her property will be Christmas Eve afternoon. If the business sells, the locations will be closed for a week for a transition to the new owners.

“I grew up here; it’s my whole life, ”said an emotional Jennifer Camerer, who is also a dental hygienist. “I don’t know life without The Cookie Factory. But I am happy for my mother; she deserves it. She’s really worked hard her whole life.

Linda McCormick said she works regularly seven days a week. His “No. 1 employee,” Patty Goss, started working with McCormick at the age of 14, taking time off only to have children.

“I really support whoever buys it and I will help them,” Goss said. “My two children worked here and were 14 years old; and now my son, Russell, is in college, and my daughter, Alexandria, is in her final year of high school.

“Linda is a great person to work for,” she said. “And it’s going to be so, so sad – but we’ll always be friends.”