Local News

Chatham Family Finds Recipe For Success With Fruitcake

Posted November 19, 2002 8:05 a.m. EST

— 'Tis the season for tinsel, celebrations and fruit cake. Believe it or not, North Carolina is a fruit cake power house.

Southern Supreme Fruit Cake Company

in Bear Creek is taking orders, mixing, baking and shipping fruit cakes.

Berta Scott started selling the cakes, a family recipe, out of her garage 18 years ago. Southern Supreme is now a multi-million dollar business.

"Then we came over and built one small building, and we've added on four or five times since then. Now our cakes go all over the world," Scott said.

The Scotts sell more than one 100,000 cakes a year. They bake eight giant batches a day, with each batch weighing close to 300 pounds.

The cakes are loaded with nuts and eggs.

"In doing eight batches each day, we go through 14 cases of walnuts and 12 cases of pecans," Scott said. "Each batch takes fifteen dozen eggs, so in a day's time, the lady who breaks our eggs breaks 1,440 eggs every day."

Forget the myth that there is only one fruitcake in the world that is passed from family to family. At Southern Supreme, thousands of the cakes are getting ready to be shipped for the holidays.

Scott vows after tasting the fruitcake, customers will not want to pass it along -- but enjoy it themselves!

The history of the fruitcake dates back to Roman times. It was used as a lucky charm for the nut harvest. After the harvest, a cake was made from fruits and nuts. The cake was saved until the following year. It was then eaten in hopes of another successful harvest.

A recent survey shows annual sales of fruitcake surpassed $100 million in 1998. That adds up to 21 million fruitcakes.

Twenty-eight percent of Americans readily admit to eating fruitcake. Southerners are particularly fond of the delicacy, with 38 percent indicating they enjoy fruitcake during the holidays.


Dan Wilkinson