Here at our headquarters in Rutland, Vermont, everyone plays a vital role in getting our high-quality cookie cutters out the door and into your hands! Our team manages everything in-house, from manufacturing processes to developing custom cookie cutters, and works hard to bring our products to stores around the globe.
In 1989 artist Ann Clark had an idea and a dream. After years of creating small handcrafted toys, dollhouses, and ornaments for sale throughout New England she designed a pig-shaped cookie cutter and launched a new business in her garage. Armed with a small amount of cash and unbridled enthusiasm Ann tackled her first trade show and sold out her limited inventory of cookie cutters. Ann Clark, the company, was born.
Ann’s artistic flair and love for baking has created an extensive product line of handmade cookie cutters for the gift and kitchenware industries that sell throughout the United States and in many parts of the world. Ann Clark Cookie Cutter “The Cookie Cutter People from Vermont,” is now the largest manufacturer of cookie cutters in America.
Ann graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in art. She and her husband, John, picked Vermont as their home and soon found a scenic site in the foothills of the Green Mountains to raise a family. Beyond her art, Ann also enjoys traveling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and spending time with her grandchildren. She’s active in the local garden club and volunteers at the Rutland City Free Library.
Ann’s favorite cookie cutter is Mountain Bear, although the piggy cookie cutter continues to hold a special place in her heart.
Ben, our fearless leader, is likely the most zealous whiteboard user you'll ever meet. He doesn't use them just for stick figure drawings or snarky comments: he pushes innovation and continuous improvement, with the boards as his aides. Anyone who is invited to a whiteboard discussion knows that Ben means business.
Ben was raised in Rutland, Vermont, and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont. He later completed a Master's in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His career included employment with Black & Decker in new product development and purchasing, as well as the die casting industry. In 1998, he and his wife moved to Vermont so he could join the family business. Since becoming CEO of Ann Clark Cookie Cutters, Ben has been an avid proponent of lean manufacturing, which is a method of reducing waste without sacrificing productivity.
Ben's laugh can be heard from several rooms away, and he loves comedy. He also loves skiing, hunting, hiking, and paddle boarding. He currently serves on the board of Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center, whose primary mission is to strengthen and empower Vermont manufacturers. He and his wife Denise have two daughters, Margaret and Becca, and the family dog is a chocolate Labrador named Molly.
His favorite cookie cutter is the Watering Can.
What Drives Ann Clark Cookie Cutters?
CEO Ben Clark discusses what drives the company, its vision and its managing philosophies.
National Sales Manager
John has known the Clarks since childhood-so when his lifelong friend Ben Clark presented an opportunity to work with Ann Clark Ltd, he was eager to join the team. He had originated bank loans for 25 years before pivoting. An alumnus of North Carolina State University with degrees in Economics and Business Management, he pursues sales leads for custom projects, coordinates programs for larger businesses, and solves issues related to wholesale accounts.
During after-work hours, John enjoys hiking and snowshoeing on the Long Trail with his wife Kathy. John and Kathy have grown children whom they visit when possible. John also promotes Italian culture as a trustee of the Rutland Italian American Club, and researches genealogy and local Vermont history: one notable ancestor, third great-grandfather James McDonough, was known as "The Gouger," because of his "riotous living." Fortunately for us, John does not share those genes!
His favorite cookie cutters are the nautical-themed shapes, especially the shark.
Kevin originally approached Ann Clark Ltd. in 2009 on a sales call. However, there was a misunderstanding when he arrived, leading Ben to believe that Kevin was interviewing for the CFO position. Once they realized what had happened, Ben graciously turned down the sale- but since he'd learned about Kevin's finance background during their conversation, he asked Kevin if he'd consider being the CFO. Kevin agreed and has held the position since, overseeing financial management, human resources, and purchasing. He has enjoyed the challenge of growing the business and seeing many of the company's ambitious goals become a reality.
Prior to Ann Clark, Kevin was born and raised in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington with an Accounting degree. He later completed an MBA at Eastern Washington University, where he was also a faculty member. Following his studies, he became a CPA and pursued accounting with Deloitte & Touche, but switched gears to go into publishing. He worked in Vermont and then Missouri; however, his family missed Vermont, so they returned.
In his spare time, Kevin volunteers at his church; travels around the country seeking sunshine and visiting family; hikes and bikes throughout Vermont; reads history and biographies, and builds fires to keep his wife warm. He met his wife, Jenny, at the University of Washington, and they have four grown children and a gaggle of grandkids.
His favorite cookie cutter is the "W" for the University of Washington (a custom project), but he also likes the traditional Moose.
Digital Marketing Director
Gwen, our internet guru, is from upstate New York- and has lived in Ireland and traveled around the globe but her family has ultimately settled in Vermont. She is an 'idea person' and has a passion for information and analyzing data, which she uses to implement digital marketing strategies. She also studies how people are searching for our cookie cutters, which gives us insight to the buzzwords and product names we should use (e.g. "gingerbread man" vs "gingerbread boy"). A graduate of Alfred University with bachelor's degrees in both Business Management and Fine Arts, Gwen has fearlessly tackled new frontiers and has handled website, design and digital roles for a variety of companies and industries, including book publishing, home improvement and e-commerce agencies, throughout which the only constant has been change.
In Gwen's free time, she indulges in many interests: travel, art, creative projects, good food, reading, soccer, playing card games, cheering on her husband's robotics team and exploring the great outdoors. She enjoys spending time with her family and their German Shepherd Io.
Her favorite cookie cutter is the Unicorn Head because of its beauty, size, and ease of decorating cut-out cookies.
Eugenia manages our sales representatives and the inside sales team who serve our wholesale customers. She enjoys cultivating the company's business relationships and is passionate about Ann Clark Cookie Cutters being the #1 cookie cutter company for store owners to work with. She is also a "data geek" with more than 30 years of experience in sales analysis. At Ann Clark, she analyzes wholesale customers' buying patterns and preferences.
Though Eugenia is not a native Vermonter, she moved here in 1982 and hasn't looked back! She is a graduate of The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. An avid birder, localvore, and "tree hugger", she enjoys many outdoor activities including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and cycling. Eugenia insists that she's only slightly obsessed with the New England Patriots—but we know better (Giants fans beware!).
It comes to no surprise that Eugenia's favorite cookie cutter is the Teardrop Bird because of her deep devotion to birding.
Julian grew up on a small family farm in Western New York as one of four generations living under the same roof. He attended SUNY Geneseo and graduated Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Sociology and International Relations. He made his way to Vermont via Dartmouth College, where he pursued a master's degree in Globalization Studies. He began working at Ann Clark in February 2017 as part of the sales and marketing teams, focusing on customer relationship management.
In his free time, Julian is fiercely active in local politics, serving as the Shrewsbury Town and Rutland County Chair for the Democratic Party and as a member of several state committees. He also enjoys writing, hiking, bird watching, coin collecting, natural history, economics, and rockhounding, which is reasonable and responsible collection of rocks and other mineral specimens. Julian lives in Shrewsbury with his partner Elana.
His favorite shape is the Tractor because it reminds him of home and his first words, which his grandmother has confirmed: "John Deere". No wonder he made his way to Rutland, the birthplace of John Deere!