Last updated on May 8th, 2017 at 02:18 pm
Albert L. “Bud” Cason, founder and chairman of Birmingham, Alabama-based Bud’s Best Cookies, was inducted into the Baking Hall of Fame by the American Society of Baking (ASB) during BakeTech2017 in Chicago Feb. 26-28.
The award recognizes industry innovation and entrepreneurial spirit as well as organizational growth and development, equipment design and innovation, advancements in ingredient technology and processing or related service to the commercial baking industry.
Cason was one of the first cookie producers to recognize the potential of contract manufacturing. In the 1970s, he saw that large consumer products goods companies were moving out of manufacturing activities to concentrate their resources on marketing. He reinvigorated a modest bakery to serve that need.
Bud’s Best Cookies began operations in 1992 in a 130,000-s.f. facility in Birmingham. The company manufactures a variety of Bud’s Best bite-sized cookies that are distributed across the country. Bud’s Best Cookies also owns several brands, including Uncle Al’s standard-sized cookies, sold at convenience stores; the Woopee brand sold exclusively in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia; and Bud and Al’s Signature line of specialty cookies.
According to ABA, Cason “practically invented the category of mini-cookies by being the first to master the mass production of these bite-size treats, now found at convenience stores all around the country and on Amazon.com,” ASB said. “Later, he added full-size cookies and, most recently, wafer products to the product line of his lively business.”
Cason is a co-founder of the Cookie and Snack Bakers Association (CASBA); serves on the board of the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers Association (B&CMA); and currently is involved in the merger of B&CMA and the America Bakers Association (ABA).
Cason also is active in his community and church, generously supporting their causes, charities and initiatives.
“Since I was 12 years old working in my aunt’s bakery, I always knew that I wanted to own my own cookie factory,” Cason says. “Being inducted into the Bakers Hall of Fame is such an honor and makes me realize all of my dreams have come to fruition.”
Cason was recognized alongside three other industry leaders during the special ceremonies: Murray and Marvin Lender of Lender’s Bagel Bakery, New Haven, Connecticut, and Joseph “Joe” Schwebel of Schwebel’s Baking Co., Youngstown, Ohio.
“The lives and careers of these individuals provide wonderful examples of excellence and leadership,” said John Del Campo, chair of the ASB Baking Hall of Fame Evaluation Committee and GM of Repco’s Bakery Division, Salina, Kansas. “They represent the best qualities of compassion, forward thinking and personal judgment. The committee feels honored to have looked at their accomplishments. They inspire our future by their experience.”
Since its launch in 2006, the Baking Hall of Fame has enshrined 76 people from across the baking industry, from bakeries, allied equipment and ingredient suppliers to schools, service organizations and publishers. Their accomplishments can be found here.