Collin Street: Over 125 Years in the Baking

Collin Street: 125 Years in the Baking
October 12, 2021

Collin Street: Over 125 Years in the Baking

Over 125 Years As A Family Owned & Operated Texas-Based Business

Welcome to Collin Street—the oldest, U.S.-based, mail-order fruitcake company and the home of our world-famous DeLuxe® Fruitcake. Made for over 125 years from our super-secret proprietary blend of pecans, pineapples, and cherries, our DeLuxe® has become synonymous with quality.

But, here’s the thing. While our fruitcake has always been delicious, it’s not always been world-famous. Just like all things, our beginnings were rather humble. We worked our way to stardom! That's why we want to take you on a journey. A journey that began a long time ago, deep in the heart of Texas...

Once Upon a Time, A Long, Long Time Ago...

1896

German baker August “Gus” Weidmann founds Collin Street Bakery.

FUN FACT: The original bakery was located on Collin Street, thus, the origin of our name!

1900

Gus Weidmann partners with local businessman and entrepreneur Thomas McElwee. Together, Gus and Tom had begun promoting Collin Street Bakery to the traveling tourist trade flooding Corsicana. The most popular item purchased?—Weidmann’s specialty, the DeLuxe® Fruitcake.

1906

Gus and Tom, having outgrown the original Collin Street Bakery location, purchase a second location. The second location was a two-story building with the bakery located on the first floor and a luxury hotel located on the second.

The 1940s

Stiff competition from regional bread factories encourages Gus to shift focus from producing bread to focusing on developing the mail-order fruitcake side of Collin Street. This decision coincides with the purchase of Collin Street Bakery from the original founding families to an investment group that included the McNutt family.

The 1950s

Under the guidance of the bakery’s new leadership, Collin Street’s sales of DeLuxe® Fruitcake skyrocketed from 65,000 total pounds of fruitcake sold in the 1940s, to almost half a million in the 1950s.

1965

In 1965, Collin Street moves into its current facility located on 7th Avenue in downtown Corsicana. This location includes a large-scale production facility created to meet the high-volume demand placed on the business by the ever-increasing surge of orders.

FUN FACT: At the Bakery’s 7th Avenue grand opening, Will Rogers, Jr. presided as the Master of Ceremonies. This was an ode to his father, Will Rogers, Sr., a long-time customer of Collin Street.

1976

Collin Street Bakery partners with two other entities to build the Navarro Pecan Company, the world’s single-largest pecan shelling operation. The Navarro Pecan Company, located just a few short minutes down the street from our 7th Avenue location, provides Collin Street with all our pecan needs.

FUN FACT: Each of our DeLuxe® Fruitcakes is comprised of 27% pecans by volume.

1990

Collin Street purchases its first parcel of land in Costa Rica. This parcel is cultivated to grow pineapples for use in our fruitcakes.

FUN FACT: For a brief time, our bakery’s pineapple farm, totaling 3,000 acres, was the world’s largest organic growing operation.

The 2000s

In addition to our 7th Avenue location, Collin Street opens three new Café locations, each located off main commuter thoroughfares and some featuring Tesla Supercharging Stations. These locations are still operational today and respectively located off I-45 in Corsicana, 1-20 in Lindale, and I-35 in Waco.

2014

The bakery, having pineapple production far exceeding its own needs, sells the majority of its organic pineapple farm to Dole Fruit.

FUN FACT: Collin Street maintains roughly one hundred acres on which pineapple, papaya, coffee, and cocoa are still grown.

Today

This year alone, our bakery saw tremendous growth including, expanded participation in this year's State Fair of Texas, a collaboration with Shiner Beer, and the successful launch of our Gluten-Free Fruitcake.

For a more detailed account of our bakery’s history, click here

Momentous occasions such as this, call for reflection. So, we took this unique opportunity to interview a handful of important bakery figures. Here’s what they had to say…

Reflections on the Past

Question: What do you think about our business growth and success?

Thomas McNutt, Executive Vice President: You know, when you're in a business day in and day out, sometimes you can lose perspective. But really, Collin Street Bakery is the ultimate comeback kid because we haven’t always had continuous growth... In the early 2000s, the business weathered a rocky path. A whole lot of other companies entered the direct mail business, and culturally, people started stigmatizing our core product (fruitcake).

And of course, everybody knows about the horrible, awful theft that happened from somebody that the business loved and trusted. But, once the business recovered from the embezzlement, we were able to begin experimenting with different marketing and selling initiatives. Now, we're in our fourth consecutive year of really consistent growth. I think it’s a testimonial of the incredible leadership Bob McNutt has provided and his ability and willingness to adapt and innovate.

 

Hayden Crawford, Vice President of Public Relation and Customer Service: The mail-order part of the business... was an incredible home run success no one anticipated. We had this little hometown bakery selling bread and fruitcake... We got into the mail-order business and fruitcake was the only product we could really safely ship. So, we began to market it...and it just took off!... We went from selling a meager couple thousand dollars in sales in 1896 to over $20 million in annual sales in 2020!

Exciting Changes 

Question: During your time with Collin Street, was have been some of the more exciting changes you’ve witnessed?

Chirs Woolsey, Shipping Manager: Watching the wholesale efforts grow each year I would say has been one of the most exciting things. To see the year-over-year growth, with more stores ordering our cakes every year. Our mailout business is direct to the consumer and so that's usually one cake to one customer. But, when we start wholesaling, we can get our cakes in front of more customers!

Upcoming Challenges

Question: What do you think are some of our business’s biggest future challenges?

Deanna Cryer, Director of Retail Operations: Marketing to younger audiences is one of our bakery’s biggest challenges. Our audience is typically more mature. So, there's been a big push to market to a younger demographic to make fruitcake trendy again.

Luckily for us, we have a great marketing team that’s doing a terrific job at keeping fruitcake relevant.

Hopes for the Future 

Question: What are some of your hopes for the future of Collin Street Bakery?

Bob McNutt, CEO & President: I have lots of plans for our future...big and small. For example, I want to revamp our bakery tours. I hope to have a tour where anyone who comes here for a bakery tour gets a chance to decorate their own cake… But, that’s not all. I also see tremendous potential in our wholesale efforts. But our wholesale business, under my nephew Thomas McNutt, is doing very well and just has lots of room to keep growing.

 

Deanna Cryer, Director of Retail Operations: More collaborations! I really want to collaborate with Blue Bell Creameries, another great Texas-based brand. I’d love to create a fruitcake-flavored ice cream or even an ice cream based on our most popular cookie, our Cherry Ice Box Cookie.

 

Hayden Crawford, Vice President of Public Relation and Customer Service: In the past five, six years, I've seen a change in the attitude perceptions of the customer. Now they're looking at fruitcake and Collin Street Bakery as something intriguing, a throwback, a harkening back to the past, and something to be cherished and to enjoy. So, we've really turned the corner! I just really hope that continues.

Thank You to Our Community

Our bakery may be well over a century old, but we have no intention of slowing down. Since 1896, we’ve been making the best dang fruitcake anyone’s ever tasted, and we plan on keeping up the tradition for an additional 125 years!

But we didn’t get here alone. Thank you to all our loyal customers and employees past and present, who over the years, have allowed us to be a part of your lives and traditions. And a special note of thanks goes out to our local community.

Thank you to the people of Corsicana who have been loyal and supportive for many years. Without the people of Corsicana, we wouldn't be here.” - Bob McNutt

Our Cakes Are Just Clicks Away!

Luckily for you, our DeLuxe® Fruitcake is just a few clicks away. Available in a variety of sizes, sliced and unsliced versions, and even bite-sized Petites, we are certain you’ll find something you like. 

Comments
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Gregory T Treehuba
October 20, 2021
There is no reason not to love your cakes! I have always and still despise ALL fruitcake, particularly the ones that rely too heavily on raisins and consist of cake so dry that it tastes like cardboard. Somewhere between 35 and 40 years ago a cousin in New York forced me to try your fruitcake and the angels sang and I was converted. Yours is the ONLY fruitcake that I will eat. Furthermore, it became my special gift for friends in England, Switzerland and The Bahamas and nuns who were family friends. Sadly only my friends in Switzerland are still alive and take your cake every Christmas with them to family in Spain who insist on it being shared with them. Thus your cake has become a go to in my life. Tell anyone who doesn’t like Christmas Cake to speak to me as your cake is unlike any other and the cake is just pecan deliciousness with fruit people enjoy!
Collin Street Bakery
October 25, 2021
Thank you so much for sharing! We are so glad you were forced into our fruitcake and LOVED it! We appreciate you being a part of this journey with us.
Carolyn E Williamson
October 20, 2021
excellent quality ingredients plus excellent and prompt employee service is always the best marketing any company can ever do...thank you through the years for both!! xo
Collin Street Bakery
October 25, 2021
Thank you so much!!
Susan Skoch
October 20, 2021
We had an elderly neighbor, Elta whittington, who my brothers and I worked for in our teens. It was a tradition to receive a Collin street bakery fruit cake every year at christmas as her gratuity for our work with her. She has long passed but I think of it every year and hope to start a tradition again. It's the only fruitcake we enjoy. Very tasty and disappears quickly. Elta used to buy one for herself when she lived in a nursing home and I woul cut her a slice for her every evening. She didn't always share this one cake lol. She loved it for herself. That's how good it is. I can taste it though and thinking of buying it for my family. My brothers and I are in our 40s now.
Collin Street Bakery
October 25, 2021
Thank you for sharing this with us! It is definitely time to get a fruitcake.
Himanshu Dixit
October 21, 2021
We are planning to order few cakes this year and would like to have complete price list for various cakes that you have showing freight cost separately for within US and Europe.
October 21, 2021
I have been you faithful customer for a rather long period of time and it gives me great pleasure to convey to you that your fruitcake is highly appreciated in our family and amongst our friends.
Collin Street Bakery
October 25, 2021
Thank you so much for the kind words.
Jean Ann Bybee
October 22, 2021
I have had the privilege to photograph Collin Street Bakery products for several years. As a professional food photographer it has been such a wonderful opportunity to work with many of the principles of this incredible family owned company. I treasure them as clients and friends. Fruitcakes… cheesecakes… cookies.. bakery/cafe items… all so delicious and fun to shoot. Thank you Collin Street Bakery The next 125 will be spectacular
Collin Street Bakery
October 25, 2021
Thank you so much, Jean! We appreciate you so much.
MRS JEANETTE NOLTE
October 23, 2021
I have been a customer since 1989 and every year the Deluxe Fruit Cake takes centre place on our much decorated dining room table. The journey of Collin Street Bakery since 1896 is a remarkable journey and surely to be recorded in the history journals. To all those involved many congratulations on your 125 Birthday, may there be many more years of success.
Collin Street Bakery
October 25, 2021
Thank you so much for your kind words! Thank you for being a part of this journey with us.
Ken Walden
October 26, 2021
How much sugar in your fruitcakes? Trying to figure out how safe for type 2 diabetics.
Collin Street Bakery
October 27, 2021
For one serving of our Regular DeLuxe® Fruitcake, there are 17g of total sugars. If you scroll through the images here, https://collinstreet.com/deluxe-fruitcake#size=5442 you will see the full list of nutritional facts. Please let us know if you have any further questions.
Barry Cohen
October 27, 2021
We had visited the LA Virgen Finaca Corsicana plantation many years ago and bought your pineapple cakes , they where wonderful. We tried to go visit again yesterday while in Costa Rica and after a long search were finally told you don't sell those in Costa Rica anymore. It was a sad day, we wanted to share them with friends traveling with us.
Collin Street Bakery
October 27, 2021
We are so sorry. You can order our Pineapple Pecan cake at any time from here, https://collinstreet.com/pineapple-pecan-cake.
Elbert Senter
October 29, 2021
There are two good brands of sloe gin: Chase Sloe Mulberry Gin or Warner Edwards Harrington Sloe Gin. Most people prefer the Warner Edwards, though it's often hard to find in stores. In my opinion, both of these brands make a high-quality product that will stand up against even the most difficult cocktail competition.
Joyce Martinez
November 9, 2021
I just placed an order but I forgot to specify "sliced". Can this be corrected?
Collin Street Bakery
November 13, 2021
Hello, you will have to reach out to our customer service team about this request. You can reach them at (800) 267-4657.
Laura Hensel
December 1, 2021
Wish I could afford all these !
December 1, 2021
With all the jokes about fruitcake and some of them are not good, your fruitcakes are the exception. After tasting one of them, I ordered two more for gifts. They are delicious.
Collin Street Bakery
December 3, 2021
Thank you SO much for your kind words!
Ms MS WANDA KERSEY
December 1, 2021
I’ve been ordering fruitcakes every year and thoroughly enjoyed them
Ms MS SAUNDRA ALEXANDER
December 2, 2021
First in the 1960’s, and we are still ordering and loving your cakes!
Marcia
December 2, 2021
Will the fruitcakes in the tin be back in stock before Christmas?
Gaye Spann
December 2, 2021
Have ordered Collin Street Fruitcake!❤️
Collin Street Bakery
December 4, 2021
Yum!!
Gaye Spann
December 2, 2021
Love Fruitcake!
Collin Street Bakery
December 4, 2021
Yummy!
Suzy Boyd
December 3, 2021
My Grandmother introduced me to the delicious Collin Street Fruitcakes. It was a special tradition in her house. And now mine. I could not wait every year for the box to arrive at her home. The first cut and first taste is a very special memory. I treasure these memories. Thank you for creating a delicious fruit cake. Happy Holidays!
Collin Street Bakery
December 4, 2021
Thank you so much for your kind words! We are so proud to be a part of your family memories.
Karen Davis
December 3, 2021
My family have been customers for over 50 years.. Part of out Christmas memories.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
We are so proud to be a part of your family memories!
ARTHUR HODGDON
December 3, 2021
The best; getting them for over 15 years.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Yummy!!
Myrtle Bradley
December 3, 2021
This year I ordered pecan chocolate pie for Christmas for my home and my sister's home. I also ordered pecan pie for another sister's home. The fruit cake can not be beat.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Yummy!
John T Powers
December 3, 2021
I have tried several different flavors of your fruitcake, no disappointment in any of them. For your wholesale efforts you should reach out to COSTCO. They always have fruitcake during the holidays and yours would be an excellent addition or even replacement of their current product.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you so much!
Peggy Hardy
December 3, 2021
My father loved Collins Street Bakery. He lived in Whitney, Texas and had 4 girls whom he loved so very much. One of many memories, was when myself and sisters went to visit , he drove us to Collins Street Bakery. He was so excited to take us to the best fruitcake in the world. My dad has since passed, but, Christmas would not be Christmas without ordering my favorite Fruitcakes and wishing he was with me to share the deliciousness. Thank you Collin Street Bakery.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. We are so sorry for loss, and appreciate you allowing for our fruitcakes to serve as a fond memory.
Peggy Hardy
January 6, 2022
Thank you
Debra Fontaine
December 4, 2021
Cannot wait until my aunt tries this
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Agreed!!
JOYCE C O'LEARY
December 4, 2021
The best fruitcake ever, enjoying them for over 15 years. My sister can't wait till Christmas, she knows that's my gift to her family every year. Love your fruit cake all year long! Merry Christmas & have a Wonderful New Year. Keep making your delicious cakes.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you so much for the kind words! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Jenny Anderson
December 4, 2021
I had had your fruitcake ma y times and watched a food show featuring the Xollin Street Bakery. Loved lreading the blog history.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Yummy! Thank you!
Mr MR RICHARD WHIGHAM
December 5, 2021
Best fruit cake I’ve ever tasted!!
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
It is delishhh!!
Laura MacLaird
December 7, 2021
I so agree with you!! No other fruitcake I've EVER tasted can even come close to how delicious this fruitcake is!! Have been ordering for years...going to pass on the tradition to my boys!!
Shirley Corlett
December 5, 2021
I first came across your fruitcakes when living in Houston Texas in the 1980’s. I loved them then and was delighted to order one as my Christmas cake this year. I also bought a couple as gifts so you may well have more customers in the future! Thank you
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you so much! We are so glad you enjoy our cakes.
Mrs Linda Carman
December 5, 2021
The best I have ever eaten. It is addictive! Look forward to my slice with a hot cup of coffee!
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Yummy!!
Lura Bieda
December 5, 2021
Do your fruitcakes need to be refrigerated before opening?
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
It does not, you can enjoy a slice right away!
Mr Bruce rupp
December 5, 2021
I have ordered twice and delicious both times
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you!
Loriann Pace
December 5, 2021
My in-laws, Frank and Mary, bought their first fruitcake in the 80s and gifted us with one every Christmas until they passed. My mother-in-law passed in 2004 and my father-in-law passed in January of 2012. To our surprise, later that year In December, a fruitcake arrived in mail from him. We like to think it was a Christmas miracle. Best fruitcake ever!
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
We are so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your kind words!
Kathy Miller
December 5, 2021
My dad LOVES your fruitcakes. He orders one every year. This year, he also ordered a pie & ordered them early. He doesn't know it yet but he is getting one for a Xmas gift.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you so much! What a great gift.
Mr Joe Romero
December 5, 2021
I can hardly wait to taste all of your wonderful treats that I ordered
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Yummy!
Mr MR LEMOINE SMITH
December 5, 2021
Very interesting history ! Terrific ingredients. I made one from scratch and it was as beautiful and tasted very good. I totaled up the ingredients and postage cost and found Id save money ordering from CollinStreet Bakery. Thanks again.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you for sharing this information!
Mr LUIS vitoria-spyer
December 6, 2021
i first heard 0f Collin Street some years ago and we have it for Christmas as a special . Your fruit cake is out of this world. Thank you.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you so much!
Richard
December 6, 2021
Great all year round.
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Agreed!
Sherry Theroux
December 6, 2021
Never cared for fruitcake growing up. Discovered Collin Street Bakery in the 80s. Bought one and that's all it took. Best fruitcake by far on the market today. Been buying them ever since. Guess what all my family is getting for Christmas!
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
Thank you so much! They are the best gift ever.
timothy pressel
December 6, 2021
Never tried a fruit cake!
Collin Street Bakery
December 6, 2021
You should try ours, it is delishh!
Alison Chastain
December 6, 2021
Have been getting these fruitcakes for years. Never liked fruitcake before tasting these
Collin Street Bakery
December 7, 2021
They sure are delish!
debbie montgomery
December 6, 2021
I love fruitcake. And people think I'm nuts!!
Collin Street Bakery
December 7, 2021
It is delicious!
Bonnie smith
December 6, 2021
Love your fruit cakes! They are the best!
Collin Street Bakery
December 7, 2021
Agreed!
KAYE ECCLES
December 6, 2021
Your fruitcake is the very best!
Collin Street Bakery
December 7, 2021
Thank you!
Christina M Miller
December 7, 2021
So good that we ordered the 4-LB original fruit cake this year!
Collin Street Bakery
December 7, 2021
Yay! We hope you are enjoying it.
V Dorffer
December 8, 2021
A Christmas family tradition
Collin Street Bakery
December 10, 2021
Thank you!
I will not eat any other fruitcake except Collins Street
December 8, 2021
I would never have eaten your fruitcake but my sister gave us one for Christmas boy did we enjoy it and that’s all we buy except for the Chocolate Cherry birthday
Collin Street Bakery
December 10, 2021
We are so happy that your sister introduced you to our cakes.
Lorea
December 8, 2021
I have always loved Fruit Cake, but I never knew real Fruit Cake until my first trip to the Collin Street Bakery many years ago. Now, my sister and I go every year. It’s the absolute best!!!
Collin Street Bakery
December 10, 2021
Yummy!! Thank you.
MARIA LUISA REYES
December 9, 2021
First time I ordered! I like it because it's not too sweet.
Collin Street Bakery
December 10, 2021
Thank you!
MS CATHERINE P SVESKO
December 9, 2021
I have been ordering your fruitcake for myself, family and friends for years. Everyone agrees that it's the best fruitcake ever! It would not be Christmas with a Collin Street Bakery in my home.
Collin Street Bakery
December 10, 2021
It is absolutely the best, thank you so much!
Maureen Blatz
December 11, 2021
Congratulations on 125 years this is a wonderful thing. So glad your online
Collin Street Bakery
December 11, 2021
Thank you so much!!
Lorena
December 14, 2021
I never thought I would order fruitcake but the Apricot Pecan cake changed my mind Just delicious!
Collin Street Bakery
December 15, 2021
Yay! We are so happy it changed your mind.
Ms Donna Korkus
December 30, 2021
A friend of mine gave us a small fruitcake, and it was the most delicious one I have ever tasted. I love the concept of the community bakery, and love buying an item with such awesome ingredients. First time customer. Thank you, Hope your family and employees have A Happy, Healthy & Peaceful New Year 2022 Donna K Adirondack Mtns. in Upstate New York
Collin Street Bakery
January 3, 2022
We hope you have a wonderful new year! Thank you so much for the kind words.
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