There are many sweet treats that have become closely associated with the holiday season. But few specialties have such an undeservedly bad reputation as the often maligned fruitcake. Despite this, huge numbers of fruit cakes are produced, and consumed, by officianados around the world every year. For those people who indulge in the odd treat in North America, there’s a pretty good chance that it came from the Claxton Bakery in Southern Georgia.
The Claxton Bakery is one of America’s most famous pastry institutions. It was founded in 1910 by Savino Tos, an Italian immigrant, who moved to Georgia in search of a quieter life, away from the hustle and bustle of New York City. After residing for a few years in Macon, he relocated to Claxton as he enjoyed the local people and, more importantly, the town did not have a bakery. A few years after opening, the Claxton bakery began making its first fruitcakes, a tradition that Savino Tos imported from the old country.
The fruitcakes were a local hit, and became a popular holiday item. In 1945, Tos sold the bakery to his long-time employee Albert Parker. Parker set about transforming the unassuming bakery into a holiday juggernaut. The cakes were marketed and shipped all over the country. Sales began to skyrocket in the 1950s when the Parker fruitcakes became a popular item for sales in fundraisers. The Claxton Bakery now cranks out hundreds of thousands of the cakes annually.
The Claxton Bakery is still up and running nearly a century after opening its doors, and in addition to selling countless fruitcakes around the world still happily waits on walk-in customers. The bakery is open Mondays through Saturdays from 8:00am-5:00pm. There is no cost of admission. Web: www.claxtonfruitcake.com (official website of the Claxton Bakery)
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