It's cookie time

Girl Scout program kicks off with first gluten-free goody
Jan. 02, 2014 @ 04:59 AM

Area girl scouts will start selling cookies door-to-door Saturday, including a new cookie available this year that is the program’s first gluten-free treat — a bite-size chocolate chip shortbread cookie.

“When customers purchase a box of Girl Scout cookies, they are supporting a program helping girls grow into leaders in their own life, in business and in their communities,” said Lisa Jones, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. “We are very excited for this year’s sale and pleased to be one of the councils offering the new gluten-free cookie.”

Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines is one of 20 councils that will serve as a test market for the cookies that retail for $5 per package. This pilot has been developed in response to volunteers, girls and consumers who have asked for a gluten-free cookie. Available in a five-ounce, resealable foil pouch, these cookies have no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no high fructose corn syrup, no palm oil and no hydrogenated oils.

“Our new gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread cookie tastes delicious,” said Mary Alice Callaway, Vice President of Sales for ABC Bakers. “And this flavor has proven to be popular in the retail gluten-free cookie market.”

In addition to the gluten-free cookie, the sale brings with it another new cookie – a Cranberry Citrus Crisp. This whole grain, crispy cookie has cranberry bits and a tangy citrus flavor. The long-time favorites of the program include Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lots, Caramel deLites and Lemonades. The price for each box of these cookie varieties is $3.50.

Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines is in its tenth year of sending cookies to military troops through Operation Cookie Drop. To date, customer donations have purchased more than 600,000 boxes of cookies for men and women in uniform serving overseas. Those who do not wish to purchase cookies for their own consumption still can assist Girl Scouts by making a purchase and donating the cookies for the campaign.

Girl Scout Cookies will be sold by local Girl Scouts in central and eastern North Carolina through Sunday, March 2. Beginning Friday, Jan. 24, Girl Scout troops will be selling cookies at booths set up in areas such as retail stores and shopping centers. This will be also be the third year many customers will be able to use their credit card when they buy cookies at the booths, thanks to a continued partnership with Sage Mobile Payment.

"Everything girls do in Girl Scouting is designed to help them grow into women of courage, confidence and character," according to a news release from Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. "The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-run business in the world and teaches girls essential skills to succeed personally and professionally, including goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. These five skills are important ingredients in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience."

Visit the Girl Scout Cookie booth locator online at www.nccoastalpines.org to find a booth nearby, or call Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines toll-free at 800-284-4475 for more information.