It has always been our goal that every morsel of a Collin Street Bakery fruitcake be superb. So when a customer in Japan writes to tell us that the fruitcake sent to the Himalayas arrived "in perfect quality", we know we're doing something right.
Truth be told, I always thought my family was in the bakery business. In the past few years, I've come to realize that's only the half of it. It was our customers who clued me in to what Collin Street Bakery is really all about.
For years we've gotten letters from our customers. When my father was president, he got them, and before that my grandfather did. Her's one I received from Carolyn Williams, who wrote me about her much-loved father-in-law, Sherwood "Pawpa" Williams:
Throughout the years we received Pawpa's annual Christmas gift of a Collin Street Bakery fruitcake (in addition to a generous check to ensure that our three children had a good Christmas). Even those who did not typically like fruitcake looked forward to this yummy delight. When Pawpa passed away in 2004, it was fitting to continue his tradition of sending his annual Christmas gift to those he loved. The fruitcake's greeting card now reads: "In memory and honor of our Pawpa, who will live in our hearts forever."
What I've come to realize is that our fruitcakes ar filled with an overflowing cup of tradition. They bring families together, connect people who are far away, make friends among former strangers. They are often the symbol of a loved one, or the assurance that family members will reunite.
It is our privilege to know we have become a part of many customers' lives. We're there for tears of both joy and sadness, for toasts and reunions, when the presents are opened and when everyone is gathered around the table.
This book is what happens when you ask customers to tell their stories. You'll laugh at some and may shed a few tears at others. We hope each one brings a smile as you recognize the universal qualities that unite us. Being together, being there for the people we care about - what could be a better reason to bake a cake?
So put on the coffee pot or teakettle, cut yourself a generous slice of Collin Street Bakery fruitcake, and get ready to enjoy some of our favorite customer stories.
Chairman and President
Collin Street Bakery