Where did all the Freihofer’s cookies go?

COLONIE — That familiar plate of Freihofer’s chocolate chip cookies that goes so well with a glass of cold milk is going to have to wait for Capital Region residents — it’s been washed away until sometime next month by Hurricane Ida.

Go to the Freihofer’s Bakery Outlet on Fuller Road, area supermarkets or a Stewart’s Shop where the 12.5-ounce traditional box of chocolate chip cookies are usually found and all you’ll see is a blank spot on the shelves.

The cookies are missing.

“In early September, Hurricane Ida’s high winds and floods caused serious damage to the facilities and existing inventory of our main packaging suppliers,” representatives of Bimbo Bakeries USA said Tuesday.

“This directly affected the production and distribution of several of Bimbo Bakeries USA’s products across the U.S. We expect to have the product back on shelves by mid-November,” the statement continued.

“I can’t find them,” said one woman at the outlet at 40 Fuller Road.

Employees at the stores where the cookies usually are for sale said the snack is just not available.  At the Market 32 at 501 Columbia Turnpike in East Greenbush store employees led a shopper to the display where the renowned cookies usually are displayed only to show a hole where they normally would be.

No Freihofer’s cookies. No immediate ties to the Capital Region’s traditional culinary identity.

The same was true down the street at the Hannaford Supermarket at 592 Columbia Turnpike where employees looked, then consulted until one of them replied that they’re not available.

Hannaford sells the cookies at its 51 stores in New York state and Vermont, said Ericka Dodge, external communications manager for the supermarket chain.

Dodge said Hannaford has not had any customer complaints about the lack of the cookies.  Dodge said a check with the chain’s cookie manager said the supermarket chain had been told there were issues with the packaging of the chocolate chip cookies.

“As you know, there’s been a lot of ups and downs in the supply. There’s more tolerance,” Dodge said about customers’ response.

At Stewart’s stores, the Freihofer’s chocolate chip cookies weren’t around, but Stewart’s brand cookies were for sale. “While there have been some interruptions with Freihofer’s, we aren’t experiencing any out of stocks at the moment,” said Erica Komoroske, director of public affairs for the 348-store Stewart’s chain.

Freihofer’s has been a cornerstone of Capital Region foodstuffs since 1913 when Charles Freihofer opened a bakery in the Lansingburgh neighborhood in Troy.  For adults who grew up in the 1950s, the “Freddie Freihofer Show” on WRGB is a fond memory of childhood.  

Freihofer’s cultural status was enshrined by the Albany Institute of History and Art’s “The Capital Region in 50 Objects.”  That’s survived even as Freihofer’s was bought in 1987 by General Foods and eventually by its current owner, Bimbo Bakeries USA.

The company’s cake bakery on North Manning Boulevard in West Albany still produces baked goods with the aroma hanging over the neighborhood. Under the name Bimbo Bakeries USA on a silo at the plant, the Freihofer’s logo is still displayed.

For those needing a chocolate chip cookie fix, the cookies can be seen on the Freihofer’s Facebook page.



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