20 September 2006

Death of a fruitcake lover

L. William "Bill" McNutt Jr. of Collin Street Bakery passed away on 1 September. For some reason, it was not reported in the Chicago Tribune until 17 September. Hmm. The family wanted to prevent a deluge of press? In any case, Bill McNutt was the president of Collin Street Bakery from 1967 and 1998. During that time he vastly expanded what used to be a simple bakery, focusing on mail-order fruitcakes and improving sales by creating a database and using technology to build his sales. I reviewed the Collin Street fruitcake a while ago. It wasn't the most glowing review, but I certainly won't amend it to not speak ill of the dead--after all, Mr. McNutt was not his fruitcake. I will admit that although not to my taste, it was not a literally inedible fruitcake. If you're into sweet pecan flavor, that is your cake. By the way, I learned in the Chicago Tribune article that the fruitcake is sent out in the traditional cowboy tin around the holidays. Not sure if I want to verify that--I'll have to take their word on it.

I'm not sure whether to thank Mr McNutt for expanding the love of fruitcake throughout the world or possibly for creating a good portion of the disdain toward fruitcakes. In either case, he most probably raised fruitcake awareness--whether good or ill.

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