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CNN Today

Bonnie's Cookies Taking Cookie Kingdom Online

Aired May 24, 2000 - 2:40 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, move over, Mrs. Fields, Bonnie is betting the oven on the Internet. She's taking her cookie kingdom online, hoping cookie monsters everywhere bite.

Here's CNN's Casey Wian.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 17 years, Bonnie Barth hasn't changed a thing about the way she makes cookies. Fresh ingredients and hands-on attention to detail have helped her cookie and gift basket shop develop a small, but loyal following nationwide through catalog sales. But now Bonnie's Cookies is going through a big change. This week, for the first time, Bonnie's began selling directly to customers over the Internet.

BONNIE BARTH, PRES. & CEO, BONNIE'S COOKIES: Technology has changed to the point where it's easier to do. We needed something that was going to take this business to the next level, and the Internet is hopefully going to be the way to do that.

WIAN: Bonnie's has had an Internet presence for about a year, but mostly for advertising purposes.

(on camera): Until now, visitors to Bonnie's Cookies Web site have had to call the store to actually buy product. By taking orders directly online, Bonnie expects her Internet-related sales to grow from 3 percent to 20 percent within a year.

(voice-over): Barth says she's invested about five months and $15,000 getting her e-tail site up and running, which she says is a small price to pay for a business that generates $700,000 a year in sales.

Jeff Willis (ph) Designed Bonnie's new Web site.

JEFF WILLIS: When Bonnie comes in in the morning, the orders are there, and you can order from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

WIAN: Internet analysts say there are risks for small businesses selling online, especially managing rapid increases in orders and angering existing customers with computer glitches. Bonnie says she's prepared. BARTH: I think that if we didn't do this, we would be hard- pressed to stay in business for a long period of time.

WIAN: Casey Wian, CNN Financial News, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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