C is for cookies, but CDK isn’t anymore

Jessica Thompson

Dealership technology giant CDK Global is getting out of the cookie business.

CDK is closing Fresh Beginnings, a bakery that Hugh Hathcock and his wife, Judy, started in 1985 as a source of gourmet gifts to help his dealership clients build relationships with their customers.

CDK acquired the bakery in 2018 when it bought eLead1One, a provider of customer relationship management software to dealerships, from Hathcock for more than $500 million.

Fresh Beginnings, based in Valdosta, Ga., shipped cookies, brownies, pretzels and chocolate-covered confections to customers across the U.S.

It produced some 45 million cookies around Christmas alone, Automotive News said in a 2019 story about Hathcock’s newest automotive venture, ReconVelocity.

A notice on the Fresh Beginnings website said that the company — which also used the name Tincredible Treats — was canceling orders placed after June 14 and ceasing operations Thursday, June 30.

“As standard practice, we regularly evaluate our long-term strategy and business portfolio to ensure we’re focused in the right areas,” Tony Macrito, director of external communications for CDK Global, told the Valdosta Daily Times.

“As part of that process, we have made the difficult decision to close the Fresh Beginnings bakery at the end of this month.”

CDK Elead is one of its county’s largest employers, with a work force of more than 1,500 people.

Several hundred of those are believed to be part of the bakery operation, but CDK didn’t say how many people would be affected by the shutdown.

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