What can I say? Economically, 2008 was difficult. The good news is we are still in business. We did not lay off anyone, and we continue to make our cookies by hand. We have reduced our production because we don’t know what to expect this holiday season. We hope we have underestimated the economy and that we will be begging our employees to work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Never would a company be so happy to pay overtime! Our employees have been patient, understanding, and loyal. They have worked with us to make the best of a difficult situation. We love them and owe them a great deal of gratitude. (We’d also like to repay them with a whole lot of overtime!) That is our hope for 2009/2010.
Now for the Family Update. Travis and I have been married 57 years. We are blessed with good health, love of gardening, and just being with our family. I cook for all of us (around 25 people) at least once a week. (See photo.) There is a lot of laughter shared around that table even though most of it is at someone’s expense. Favorite stories and embarrassing memories are frequently recalled (and embellished). And there is nothing we like better than a well-planned prank, some of which are very elaborate and usually involve poetry.
On December 31st 2008, our newest Cookie Taster was born. Youngest daughter Caroline gave birth to Evva Katherine Hanes Fordham. (Evva Kate.) She is named after me. What an honor! Of course she will constantly be correcting the pronunciation and the spelling of her name, but I hope it will be a name she will appreciate. It appears she may even have my red hair! Oldest daughter Ramona (President), reluctantly gave up her seat beside me at the dinner table because Caroline needed extra space for Evva Kate & ALL her baby paraphernalia. Ramona suggested she just “Plop her in the middle of the table like a centerpiece.” But that didn’t fly. (Table positions are a running joke in our family and placement is based primarily on seniority.) “That Caroline has been eyeing my seat for the last 40 years,” said Ramona. However, she finally gave in with the following stipulation, “As soon as that child is in a high chair, Caroline can move on down.”
Son Michael (V.P.), is an avid biker, clocking close to 175 miles a week. In addition to his bakery duties, he also makes pottery. Caroline chose Mike to be Evva Kate’s Godfather. Not to be outdone, Ramona appointed herself to be Evva Kate’s Fairy Godmother. She has suggested that Caroline not linger too long in her “borrowed” chair and that she might wish to reconsider always introducing her as: “My much older sister.” (They are 16 years apart in age.) Ramona warns, “Fairy Godmothers can be very mischievous.”
Grandchildren & Cookie Taster Update: Jedidiah is still playing the guitar, writing, fixing, and restoring cars. Currently he is working on his own 1957 Scotsman Studebaker. He and girlfriend Kristin are working hard and enjoying being young. Madison loves High Point University and is a new Kappa Delta Sorority sister. Fiona & Isabella are dancing and singing their way to stardom. And we are hoping Evva Kate’s first word will be “cookie.”
So that’s the news. 2008 was difficult but it ended with a blessing. This year will also be a challenge. However, at age 76, I know this one thing is true: your family and your friends are your greatest treasures. Hold them close, cherish them, and make wonderful memories. For in the end, that’s what really matters. My love for my family & my friends will be my legacy. Naturally I also hope our family business and the cookie I helped my mother make in a woodstove will be a part of that legacy. Because just as I love my family, I love our employees, and you, our customers, with all my heart.
All the best,
Evva & Travis Hanes Founders
Ramona Hanes Templin President & Secretary
Michael Hanes Vice President & Treasurer
Jedidiah, Madison, Isabella, Fiona, & Evva Kate Cookie Tasters
Caroline, Norian, & Scott Office & Sales