Baby Charlie Is All Grown Up, But He Still Loves Fruitcake
Here at Collin Street Bakery, we pride ourselves on being a part of your traditions. As a family-owned and operated business, we think both families and traditions are super important. That’s why we get so excited to hear stories of how our humble bakery has become a key ingredient in families’ lives. For over 125 years, our fruitcake has been a key ingredient of family celebrations all across the globe.
Take baby Charlie for example! When he was just a wee tot, his dad treated him to a slice of our DeLuxe® Fruitcake. Charlie loved it SO much that the next Christmas, his dad treated him to another slice. Then another slice... and another!! Each year, Charlie and his dad captured these moments on tape. Compiling them all together, they shared their home movie with us—Charlie and his dad, noshing on their traditional Christmas dish: our DeLuxe® Fruitcake!
Well, we decided to catch up with Dan and Charlie to learn a little bit more about how their tradition came to be. So, we asked Hayden Crawford, partner at the Collin Street Bakery, to give this father-son duo a ring. Here’s how that conversation went!
Watch our Interview with Charlie & Dan
Our Interview with Charlie & Dan
HAYDEN CRAWFORD [HC]: Hey guys! Hayden Crawford, here with Collin Street Bakery. I am talking to Charlie and Dan—could you guys just tell us a little bit about yourselves?
DAN: Good morning, Hayden! I'm Dan and this is Charlie, and we're both lifetime fans of Collin Street Bakery and your fruitcakes.
HC: That is so amazing. Charlie, I watched you grow up... I saw you eat your first bite of fruitcake! When was that first video shot? --Were you one-year-old or two?
DAN: So, I think he probably wasn't even a year old in that first video. He was just starting to get introduced to solid foods. So, we had a high priority for him to get fruitcake early.
HC: That is just fantastic. So I hear it was your great-grandmother that started this tradition? Tell me a little bit about that.
DAN: You got it. My grandma, Charlie’s great-grandma, was responsible for finding Collin Street Bakery and your fantastic fruitcakes. I think it was the late 70s—I want to say 1978, and she was looking for a gift that she could send to her sister, my great-Aunt Melba Fisher, up in Detroit. I don't know exactly how grandma came across Collin Street Bakery, but she sent one of your DeLuxe® Fruitcakes to her sister, Melba, and the feedback was great! Melba said it was fantastic.
And so, I think the next year, grandma started sending them to other family members, and the more people she sent them to, the more good feedback she got. And, by the early 80s, old enough to be enjoying the family fruitcake, she started sending them to me. The DeLuxe® was something that I also associated with Christmas time and family.
HC: What a story so far. Keep going!
DAN: So, by the time I left our home in the late 90s, for school in Rochester, New York, I was old enough to be a part of the tradition. My birthday comes around in October and grandma was trying to think of a way to send me a piece of home so I wouldn't be homesick. She sent one of your fruitcakes. It wasn’t Christmas time yet, but she just knew that'd be a thing that I’d immediately interpret as a little piece of home. And every year since 1998, I've gotten not only my birthday fruitcake but also a Christmas fruitcake.
Since moving down here to St. Petersburg, Florida, Charlie and I started a tradition of making a video each year to send up to great-grandma—this way she could kinda be with us. So, all of this has just been a way to try and connect with our family when we’re not always able to be with each other in person.
HC: What a tradition your grandma started! And she’s how old now?
DAN: She's 101. She'll be 102 as of June 2021!
HC: That is just amazing. --So Charlie, tell me a little bit about your experiences with our fruitcake. I mean, it's rare, I’ve got to tell you, to have a customer your age, enjoying our fruitcake.
CHARLIE: So, I don’t have too many memories of when I very first tried fruitcake. But, when I got older, I do remember coming home from school in October and seeing the box sitting on the porch; I would bring it in and wait for dad to get home. And when he did, we would pull out the camera and record a video.
The fruitcakes are very good, they always have been and they still are. It's a very enjoyable tradition because it's something nice to look forward to in the middle of a busy week or on a weekend when you're just taking a break from everything. It's always been something that's just there when we need it.
HC: I love that. Well, I got a tip for you. Try this, always cut your fruitcake slices thin. Then take a small pat of salted butter, put it on that slice, and warm it just a little bit in the microwave or toaster oven. The salt from the butter and the sweetness of the cake is extraordinary.
DAN: In all the years we've been eating it—almost 40 years for me, and about 13 years for Charlie— I don't think we've ever thought to eat it warm. We'll absolutely have to try that.
HC: Warmed is my favorite. So, I see you have quite a few fruitcakes out in front of you. I see our Apricot, Pineapple, our Texas Blonde, and the world-famous DeLuxe®.
CHARLIE: I would say personally, the original DeLuxe® Fruitcake is my favorite. The colored fruit on top is my favorite part.
HC: It’s my favorite, also!
DAN: I agree with Charlie. My favorite, without question, is the DeLuxe®. Half the fun for us when we're cutting a slice of fruitcake is to argue over who's going to get which colored piece of fruit on top.
HC: So, what I noticed watching the videos was Dan, you’d choose Charlie's piece, I guess, until he got old enough to say, “No, no, I want that piece!”
DAN: Well, you teach ‘em, right? And, then you hope that they learn from you and then can eventually make their own good decisions. That's parenting, right?
HC: That's parenting, and you've done a great job with Charlie. I'll just tell you that right now.
DAN: We think so.
HC: Well, I'm glad we had this talk today. This year is our 125th anniversary and customers like y'all are an integral part of what has made our business so successful. We just wanted to thank you for what you do and we hope you continue doing it. God bless you and have a great 2021.
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