Claysburg cookie maker receives Notopoulos award

Shirley’s Cookies recognized by ABCD Corp.

Shirley’s Cookie Co. of Claysburg won the 2017 Alexander A. Notopoulos Award on Friday at the Altoona-Blair County Development Corp.’s annual meeting.

The award, a tribute to the late attorney who served for many years as solicitor for Altoona Enterprises, ABCD’s predecessor, is given each year to recognize “outstanding business firms in Blair County.”

Tyler Shaw, a third generation member of the family-owned business, accepted the award for the company.

“I am truly fortunate to have grown up in the business along with my grandfather, Zane Feathers, and alongside my parents as well,” Shaw said. “I am truly grateful for the opportunity to accept this year’s Notopoulos Award on behalf of my grandparents, parents, leadership team and all of our employees at Shirley’s Cookies.”

Shirley’s Cookies started with a doughnut and a small diner managed by a woman named Shirley who Feathers began to work for. Feathers realized the popularity and growing demand of donuts from local customers and began going door to door to sell baked goods while working for Shirley.

Feathers bought the diner from Shirley when she retired in 1967 and decided to lease a small bakery. The diner introduced raisin-filled cookies to the menu in 1969, spurring the growth of the company and partnerships with wholesale establishments.

Patty Shaw, Tyler’s mother, joined Feathers in 1990 and founded the new corporation of Shirley’s Cookies Co., opening a plant in Claysburg.

The 2003 opening of a manufacturing location and bakery led to a factory expansion to the existing Claysburg site in 2011, leading to the bakery to provide private label products to convenience stores and grocery chains nationally.

ABCD Corp. also awarded Karen Smith, an Altoona banker at Reliance Bank and Penn State University graduate, the McMaster Award.

The award is a tribute to Dick McMaster, who served as a financial leader for many years in Blair County, and acknowledges an individual from the finance industry who has demonstrated a commitment to local economic and community development projects.

The corporation highlighted some of its project developments and performance metrics from last year at the annual meeting as well.

For 2017, the organization closed 29 projects, assisted 176 clients, spent $26.2 million in program funding and $35.2 million in capital investments and retained 514 jobs.

Project highlights include the completion of the Seventh Street Gateway Project and infrastructure improvements at Marasco Business Park, site work and redevelopment option at a downtown drug store site, a sale of 60 acres in the Ardie J. Dillen Park and assistance in 10 business expansion and retention projects.

Mirror Staff Writer Shen Wu Tan is at 946-7457.