Weta to bring Cookie Muncher to life

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Oscar-win­ning special effects designer Richard Taylor is helping an iconic Kiwi brand set up shop in Queenstown.

Taylor, whose Wellington-based Weta Workshop is best known for its work on the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, has been brought in by Cookie Time New Zealand.

The company, which distributes its cookies through supermarkets and conve­nience stores, says its first retail outlet – revealed exclusively to Mountain Scene this week – will touch all the senses.

There’ll be historic photos and DVDs illus­trating the company’s 27-year history and its manufacturing pro­cess.

Taylor’s role is to turn the company symbol “Cookie Muncher” into a 3D character.

Cookie Time is making a “six-figure investment” in the former Juice Bar premises beside Just Jeans in Camp Street. “The reason we’re going into Queenstown is there are 1.4 million tourists a year and our long-term vision is to franchise these stores throughout the world,” Christchurch-based boss Lincoln Booth says.

“We thought that Queens­town would be the perfect location to be our flagship store.”

Exposing the company’s prod­­ucts to visitors should also help sales through other outlets, Booth adds.

“There’ll be products geared towards the tourists but there’ll also be special offerings for the locals.”
He expects plans will be finalised within a fortnight.

The Queenstown store, which will open in May, represents the next step in the brand’s evolution, Booth says.

“We’re pretty confident that we should have a return down there.”

Verity Richard, who’s had a number of head office roles over the past 16 years, will be the store’s franchise owner.