In some cases, local retail bakeries are expanding their customer reach regionally or nationally through partnerships with supermarkets and/or growth through ecommerce sales.

Expansion projects for retail bakeries, in many cases, involve connections with leading supermarket chains. For instance, Eleni’s Cookies, based in New York City, announces the arrival of Eleni’s New York cookies to more than 390 Sprouts Farmers Market stores around the country. Eleni’s cookies include new sensations Lemon Sea Salt and Birthday Cake.

Over two decades, Eleni’s has expanded operations from a Manhattan boutique to a global business, and “we’re thrilled to be able to bring freshly baked desserts right to your doorstep, to all 50 states and to companies of all sizes, including international deliveries upon request. We’re proud to be in business with a high-quality market like Sprouts and to have the chance to share Eleni’s irresistible crisp cookies with a new world of customers,” explains founder and baker-in-chief Eleni Gianopulos.

Starting in 1986, Gianopulos spent her first five years in New York working for the venerable Time, Inc, where she gets her first taste of the media business. Her close friend Kate Spade suggests that Gianopulos start a catering business.

“I started every catering job with desserts. I soon stopped catering and jumped right into cookies,” Gianopulos shares.

By 1991, she turns her mother Jeanie’s oatmeal-raisin cookie recipe into a woman owned business, New York City start-up style, rolling out gourmet goodies from the kitchen of her tiny apartment on the Upper East side. Ultimately, she joins several other woman-owned bakeries in the first wave of businesses to occupy the former factory of the Nabisco Company, a huge raw space that will eventually become Manhattan’s booming Chelsea Market: the cookie place in NYC. The market became occupied by artisan bakeries, showing how they manufacture their signature products to an audience of New York neighbors and foodies who started trekking in from near and far for a glimpse. Eleni focuses on her soft bake cookies; the Oatmeal, Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Neat (think Scotch Neat), Lemon Poppy Seed, Macaroon and Snickerdoodle.

Later on, Gianopulos puts her love of the Oscars into cookie form, beginning her tradition of Hollywood-themed custom desserts featuring stars and nominees. Barbara Walters peruses the collection along with Oscar-nominee Julianne Moore, who buys one of her own cookie likenesses for her daughter.