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Today's Case

Ward's Bakery Paradise Fruit Cake

Subject: paradise fruitcake of ward baking
From: Trevi
Date: 2/18/2021, 3:41 PM

On 2/18/2021 2:04 PM, Trevi wrote:

WARD BAKING CO. on Superior and 55th made a PARADISE FRUITCAKE every year 
and sold out. Sometimes the blue gray cans float on eBay.The mix was sent 
to the bakery from the home company in New York. The recipe is archived in 
hand written notebooks in the archive dept. of the New York library system. 
I live in Abq., NM. It appears that one has to kiss the ground of the library 
to gain access to the notebooks and recipe. That is as far as my research can 
go for now. I hunted for years in Cleveland not realizing all the info is in 
N. Y.

Hopefully you will have better success. My mother worked at the bakery as a 
receptionist but said that no one had the recipe in Cleveland. It was sent 
pre mixed dry. It was made at the bakery and hung in cheesecloth in brandy 
to age before packaging.
Nothing tastes the same except for a Collin Street fruitcake out of Texas 
which comes close. Ward Baking did some of the bake for Hough, Puritan, and 
several grocery chains such as Heinen, as well as their Tip Top brand. I 
worked accounts payable/receivable for a summer college job. That's how I 
know some of this.


Hi Trevi,

I didn't have any better luck than you had.

Ward Baking Company (later "Continental Baking Company") appears to have had a baker named John Walter Tolley in their employ who was the creator of the Paradise Fruit Cake. His handwritten notebooks in the NYC Library contain the recipe, but, as you say, you have to request permission and make an appointment in advance and physically go to the NYC Library in order to view those notebooks. John Walter Tolley was an English immigrant, and he may have brought the recipe from England.

I'll post this. Someone might respond with some additional information.


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