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Royal Cake Company

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006

The Royal Cake Company, one of the oldest and largest bakeries in the United States, was established in Winston-Salem in 1925 as Easley Cookie Company, with David W. Easley as owner. Gray G. Welch and Henry Hicks bought the company in 1926. With Welch as president and Hicks as secretary-treasurer, the firm became Royal Cake Company in the mid-1930s. By the 1950s, Royal Cake's cream-filled oatmeal cookies (the firm's best seller) and 20 other types of pastries-including chocolate chip cream-filled cookies, banana marshmallow pies, Swiss rolls, brownie rounds, and fruit-filled cereal bars-were available in convenience stores, grocery chains, vending machines, and other venues in all states east of the Mississippi River. In the early 2000s Royal Cake Company, headed by CEO James B. Whitney, had 200 full-time employees and more than $30 million in annual sales.


Update from N.C. Government & Heritage Library staff: 

The Royal Cake Company declared bankruptcy in 2005 and was subsequently purchased by Flowers Foods.  

According to a Flowers Food representative (2/13/2015): "Our
company no longer sells cookies under the Royal brand. However, we do
use the Royal recipe for oatmeal cookies sold under the Southern Home
label, the store brand of BI-LO grocery stores, which are located in NC,
SC, TN, and GA."


Lynn Jessup, "Royal Cake Company: Creme-Filled Creations," Our State 69 (May 2002).

Additional Resources:

"Company Info." FlowersFoods. (accessed September 16, 2014).

Origin - location: 



You state royal oatmeal cookies is sold at Bi-Lo in North Carolina under the southern home label. Can you tell me the exact name of the oatmeal cookies and exactly which Bi-Lo stores in North Carolina.
Thank You,
waiting for your response.
Beverly Van Eaton


Thank you so much, i am finally getting the oatmeal cookies from Bi-Lo in Statesville NC. Whenever we go through statesville, we pick up several boxes. They're not as big, but you can tell they are royal. Thanks again. Beverly


I also grew up on Royal oatmeal cookies!! My mother used to work at the motel "Parkway Chalet" and the bakery was just across on Academy St. !They used to have days when they would sell to the public "rejects" which were ones with too much cream that oozed out the sides! Those were my favorite! No other cream filled oatmeal cookie has come close! The world has lost a great thing! Please somebody, bring them back! 63 yrs. old and waitingN


Patrick Henry Hicks, named above as one of the partners of the start of the firm, was my grandfather. He sold his share of the business to Gray Welch. Patrick Hicks IV


hello there i am in need of a couple boxes of Royal Oatmeal creme cookies.. The problem is , i dont know where to buy them. there was a couple places in Mount Holly where i live that used to sell them. they are by far the best Oatmeal cookies i have ever eaten and i ate them from the time i was a little tike to recently. I am now 62 years old and have had a hankering to eat those delicious cookies for the last 3 years but can not find them.. can you tell me where i might be able to get a few boxes of these darn good eating cookies. i would give my left arm for a case of them right now. i have to substitute them with a lesser known name which i will not mention.. the ones i have had to resign myself to eating are fairly OK but not scrumptious like Royal Oatmeal Creme cookies.. please help me and let me know where i can buy them .. i would really love to have them my own kids ask me constantly if i have any of the ones i used to give them (ROYAL) and unfortunately i always have to say no but i am still looking. any help here would make me happy. thank you . and have a great weekend..Once you have eaten the best , it's hard to eat inferior items.. Royal Oatmeal Creme cookies are the best on the planet. and believe me when i say that i have been all over the globe and have eaten more than 0 different brand name oatmeal cookies but no one comes close to the taste of your cookies. they are without a doubt #1 in my book in my kids and in my siblings books as well. Why are they not being sold in Mount Holly,.. i have to settle with LD and that is just a down right shame.Help me get my life back on tract with some of those delicious Royal Oatmeal Creme Cookies.. i would drive 100 miles if i have to to find them.. Just tell me where to go and get them. God bless..David in Mount Holly.


Hi David,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and this entry and sharing your love of Royal oatmeal cremem cookies. They do sound yummy!

I am connecting you via email with the Government & Heritage Library's reference services who will able to help you locate information about the company and cookies. Their contact information can also be found at:

Good luck in your cookie quest!

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library


Hi Patrick,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and taking a minute to share your connection to this entry.  We like to hear our readers stories and have them share their personal connections to our content and NC history.

Please visit us again!

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library


I can't understand why they would even change it...they were the very BEST I wish I could find some. That is how I found this blog..looking to see if there was somewhere online I could purchase them after eating a gosh awful Little Debbie.


Hello, my grandfather, Patrick H. Hicks II, was cofounder of Royal Cake. Unfortunately, the reason the cakes were changed (and they were the best!) was because of the rumor (coming out?) of the cofounder, Gray Welch, as a homosexual. My grandfather was very religious, and sold his half to Welch just to not be associated with his rep. I don't know, but later, Welch sold out to Flowers.


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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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