Claxton Bakery working to keep up with fruitcake demand

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 4:54 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 19, 2022 at 5:17 PM EST
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CLAXTON, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s a holiday classic for some while others prefer to pass on this particular dessert.

But in Claxton the dessert has been a staple in the city for over a century.

It’s a title that Claxton takes seriously: The Fruitcake Capital of the World.

And at the Claxton Bakery staff work to uphold that name.

“It’s a title we take a lot of pride in,” Dale Parker said.

This time of year bakery vice president Dale Parker and his staff fill thousands of orders for the holiday dessert.

“We began our busy baking season in the middle of August, and we carry it right on up and through early December.”

“This year we will make about 3.5 million pounds. We have about 100 seasonal workers who come in in August and they’ll work through December. They help us produce this massive amount of fruitcake. We have a manufacturing side where we actually make and bake the cake. Then the cake has to go through a cooling process where it chills. Then we take it over to our packaging area where it’s sliced into various slices, packaged and shipped.”

The bakery has put the city of just 3,000 people on the map filling orders from all 50 states and even some other countries.

The production so large it fills an entire city block.

“Although there have been some problems with supply chain, and with obtaining ingredients, we’ve always been able to bring everything in on time, get all of our cakes made and get them shipped out on time.”

And that famous recipe of candied fruits and nuts has even drawn the attention of Hollywood A-listers like Bill Murray.

The fame bringing nationwide attention to this small town.

“Hopefully it’s a source of pride. You know a lot of times, like me, most people will travel and they’ll say ‘where you from?’ They’ll say, ‘I’m from Claxton.’ and they’ll say, ‘Why didn’t you bring me some fruitcake?’”

The bakery now using that fame to settle the great fruitcake debate once and for all.