Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

May 23, 2011

Collin Street Bakery denies fruitcake rivalry

Corsicana — The Collin Street Bakery says “nuts” to the article which ran Saturday in the Dallas Morning News in which the owner of Mary of Puddin’ Hill supposedly said he’s being driven out of business by the Corsicana firm.

Actually, far from wanting the Greenville company closed, the Collin Street Bakery has offered to help the managers of Mary of Puddin’ Hill make it through the downturn in the economy, according to Collin Street Chief Executive Officer Bob McNutt.

“We do not want to see such a well-respected, high-quality Texas company shut down. Period. In fact, we have been in contact with them trying to figure out how we can help this popular brand survive,” McNutt stated in a press release Monday morning.

Ken Bain, the owner of Mary of Puddin’ Hill, and a native of Kerens, said that’s certainly true.

“I haven’t talked with them recently. I’ve talked with them in the past. They’ve always expressed the opinion that the more people in the fruitcake business the better for everybody,” Bain said Monday.

The Dallas Morning News article exaggerated the rivalry, Bain said.

“You know you can’t always control what comes out in the paper,” he said. “I think a lot of it was people get more interested when they feel like it’s some kind of duel-type thing or whatever.”

Mary of Puddin’ Hill is a fruitcake and candy company located on Interstate 30 about 40 minutes northeast of Dallas. Saturday’s Dallas Morning News article claims that it’s closing because the Collin Street Bakery might open a store there. Bain said he got idea from a May 11 Corsicana Daily Sun article about the Texas Media Properties’ plans for putting in a sign in Greenville. Texas Media Properties is a sister company to the Collin Street Bakery.

While the Collin Street Bakery has considered a store in the Greenville area, it hasn’t acted yet, McNutt said.

“We do not own any land in Greenville, nor do we have a billboard there, though we are considering the area,” he said. “However, we’d like to point out McDonald’s locates near Burger King, not to put them out of business but to create a destination for customer convenience. If Collin Street Bakery does open in Greenville, we hope the synergies of locating near Mary of Puddin’ Hill will help to create more business for both.”

“Greenville is a wonderful town. We believe we can have a positive impact in that community should we move there. Our presence would create jobs and enhance tax revenues for the city. And we feel having a fine company like Mary of Puddin Hill down the road will only make it better for all of us.”

The Dallas Morning News article also calls the Collin Street Bakery an “800 pound gorilla” in the fruitcake business, and a “bakery behemoth,” both of which McNutt decries.

“Unless a family-owned business with 120 employees spread between three stores makes us one,” McNutt stated.

Mary of Puddin’ Hill is most likely suffering from the effects of fiscal policies of the federal government, which McNutt says are driving up the cost of pecans, fuel, shipping and employee’s wages and benefits. “Make no mistake about it, these are tough times for mail-order companies like ours,” McNutt stated.

Bain said the economy is part of the problem, but he said Puddin’ Hill’s mail order business actually saw an uptick this last year, but it just wasn’t enough.

“There’s a lot of different factors,” Bain said. “The economy has not been good in some regards. There’s just a lot of things happened over the last three years that have affected us. You have good times and bad times, and last year our mail order and catalogue sales increased over the year before, but our retail and highway traffic just wasn’t what we expected.”

Bain also pointed out that the Collin Street Bakery and Mary of Puddin’ Hill don’t make the same products, except for the fruitcakes, which are also different.

“Most of their products are baked, and besides the cakes, most of ours is chocolate,” he said. “Our customer base is different.”

Mary of Puddin’ Hill did benefit from the Dallas newspaper article through lots of orders, and it has some offers for investment and buy-out.

“We’re just evaluating things,” Bain said. “We’ve got several parties interested in acquiring us and investing. We’re revamping. We’ve got a lot of orders from last week we’re still trying to fill, mail and phone orders. And we were down to a small crew because it’s the off-season, so we had to ramp up.”

On Saturday, the supposed last day for Mary of Puddin’ Hill, the carts were lined up 20 deep waiting to check out, Bain said. “It was like Valentine’s and Christmas.”

In a tongue-in-cheek line from the Dallas Morning News article, the writer Marc Ramirez states: “Hide the kids. Though its intensity remains to be seen, a battle looms on the horizon to be fought not with mortar or muskets but with candied pineapple and walnuts.”

McNutt scoffs at that, too.

“Please bring your children out of hiding. We'd like to give them a free cookie!”


Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • 4-23-14 DerrickDays.jpg Derrick Days: Downtown Chowdown

    Derrick Days is ready to go, with events escalating everyday until the big Saturday celebration, with dozens of activities that day alone.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 TownHall.jpg Navarro College Town Hall shares updates

    Reaching out to the community, inviting the civic groups to the campus, and doing a better job of sharing the story of Navarro College were some of the ideas brought up at a college Town Hall event held Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • CISD board hears facilities study results

    The long-awaited CISD facilities report from the Texas Association of School Boards was delivered, at least in a short form, Monday at the Corsicana board of trustees meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Train accident victim identified

    A 61-year-old Corsicana man was taken to Parkland Hospital Monday night after he was struck by a train as he tried to cross a railroad track on foot.

    April 22, 2014

  • Report: West plant explosion preventable

    The fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people last year in a tiny Texas town could have been prevented, even if it's still not clear what started an initial fire that triggered the blast, federal officials said Tuesday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Local Beat for 4/23/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County

    April 22, 2014

  • DPS urges online driver's license renewal

    Renewing a Texas driver's license doesn't necessarily mean waiting in long lines or prepping your best photo ID look for the camera. The Department of Public Safety on Tuesday urged residents to renew online and beat the typical summer rush at driver's license offices.

    April 22, 2014

  • Agency report on West blast to be released

    It has been a year since a fire caused a huge explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant that killed 15 people, yet companies in the state can still store hazardous chemicals in flammable wooden containers in buildings without sprinklers and volunteer firefighters like those who rushed into that plant still aren't required to train how to fight such fires.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-22-14 Aldis.jpg ALDI gets set for May 1 opening

    The much anticipated opening of a new ALDI Grocery store in Corsicana is just two weeks away.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22-14 Minithon main.jpg Oil Town Minithon kicks off Derrick Days celebration

    The 2014 Oil Town Minithon Saturday raised an estimated $6,000 for local charities as it served to kick off the annual Derrick Days celebration.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Twitter Updates