Collin Street Bakery
|Headquarters||Corsicana, Texas, USA|
Number of locations
|Waco, Texas, Lindale, Texas, Greenville, Texas|
Other Holiday cakes
Number of employees
|600+ (during Christmas shipping season)|
The Bakery is the recipient of the "E-Award" from the US president.
The bakery was founded in 1896 by August Wiederman, an immigrant from Wiesbaden, Germany. With the help of local entrepreneur Tom McElwee, the bakery soon outgrew its original building, and required a new one in which the second floor was turned into a hotel. Celebrities such as Enrico Caruso and Will Rogers were sighted at the bakery, and in 1914 the Ringling Brothers Circus passed through town and ordered dozens of fruitcakes as Christmas gifts to be mailed to friends and family across the globe. In this way, the bakery entered the mail-order business. Lee William "L. W." McNutt, Sr. (1895-1972), Harry Cook, and Bob Rutherford purchased the bakery in 1946 from August Wiederman.
Mail order sales
In reference to the mail order business started in 1947, bakery employees copied names and addresses from a myriad of phone books for "prospecting" list. Lee William McNutt, Jr. (1925-2006), initiated a direct marketing campaign to international customers. Under his direction, the bakery began accepting orders by mail, phone, fax, and online. He also pioneered the use of a computerized database and fine-tuned shipping methods to make delivery of the cakes more efficient. The third generation CEO, Robert Pritchett "Bob" McNutt (born 1957) has continued to refine all of these methods adopted by his father, L. W. McNutt.
Thomas Max McNutt (born 1990), a graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, is the bakery vice president. A fourth-generation family member, he ran unsuccessfully for the Texas House of Representatives in the Republican primary election held on March 1, 2016. He lost by 222 votes to the long-term incumbent Byron Cook, also of Corsicana.
The descendants of the Ringling circus continue to order cakes. Monaco's Princess Caroline also places an annual order, continuing her mother, Princess Grace's tradition of a Christmas DeLuxe fruitcake for their family and friends. Hilton Hotels are a longtime customer, as is Master Builders, S.A. of Brussels, Belgium. Also counted in the above group is Madison Square Garden and Vanna White. The company rejected an order from Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini following the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. The DeLuxe Fruitcake is shipped to all countries except Cuba and Iran.
Fruitcake accounts for 98 percent of the bakery's total sales. The company sells about 3 million pounds of fruitcake each year, which equates to 1.5 million individual cakes.
The majority of orders are placed by mail during October and November.
Despite the heavy demand, the bakery does not have a distributor but sells its branded goods only through its well-known mail-order system, as well as at its two Corsicana stores and locations in Waco, Hillsboro and Lindale. In the past some specialty supermarkets, such as the defunct Amarraca in Pittsburgh's North Hills, have sold a private label version of the fruitcake.
- Texas State Historical Commission. "Collin Street Bakery State Historical Marker".
- "Recent News: The Genesis Behind Byron Cook's Signature Legislation This Session Endorses McNutt". thomasmcnutt.com. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- "Republican primary returns". Texas Secretary of State. March 2, 2016. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Watson, Sharon (December 14, 1981), "Nuttier Than a Fruitcake? That's Hard with the Tons of Pecans Packed in These Texas Delights", People Magazine, 16 (24)
- The Collin Street Bakery
- Noland, Claire. (2006, September 16). L.W. McNutt Jr., 81; His Company Sold Fruitcake to World. The Los Angeles Times
- Collin Street Bakery, Corsicana from the Handbook of Texas Online