Family Letter 2017/2018

Dear Friends,
“Faster than a speeding bullet!” That’s how I feel time is passing. What a year 2017 has been! I shared with you my diagnosis of breast cancer last year. The beginning of 2016 was a time of fear, challenge and perseverance. However, in November 2016, I felt well enough to help out at the bakery. My job was to do whatever the president (my daughter Mona), asked me to do. Mona readily admits that the only reason she is president is because she is the bossiest child. (I can attest to that!) Feeling energized again was like seeing a rainbow after a storm, full of promise that there would be a tomorrow. I have always been grateful for my good health, but after my diagnosis, I was even more thankful. Each new day is a blessing. Thank you for your cards and your well wishes during my recovery. They meant so much to me. We have always considered our customers to be a part of our family. You reinforced that feeling with your love and concern. In January 2017, I was pronounced “cancer free.” So this has been a wonderful year! (I guess I better prepare myself to bossed around even more this year by Mona. She admitted that she did go easy on me last year.)

Family News
In 2017, Travis and I turned 85 and celebrated our 65th wedding anniversary. We still delight in each other’s company and in sharing projects. He plants the garden and I “put it up.” I plant the flowers, he mows the yard. I cook and he cleans up. You get the picture – it’s a partnership. Travis was my first and only boyfriend. My granddaughter, Madison, loves the picture of Travis and me kissing (see right), taken before we were married. It captures a sweet moment in 1950. Because I was such a good basketball player, I was actually “recruited” from high school to work in the mill at Hanes Hosiery, (no relation) and play on their basketball team. (Of course, this was long before I had children or started the cookie business!) My high school won the championship game and this photo appeared on the front page of the Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel with the caption, “All this and Victory, too.” My victory over cancer this year gives this phrase an entirely new meaning. In fact, this sums up my life, except maybe I would say, “All this and happiness, too!” It’s been a grand 65 years (and yes, I am still dang good at basketball!).

Besides basketball, I also “practice” cooking for my family and our friends. Most Saturdays, you will find at least 22 people sitting at my family table. I have been fortunate that my four children have remained close to home. Three of my children live on our family farm, and one of them lives just 15 minutes away. Our houses surround the bakery, located in the middle of the old cow pasture. (Smells a lot better now!) One of my greatest joys is sharing our weekly meal together. It’s a wild time with children, grandchildren and friends, laughing and talking together. Like any family we do have our occasional disagreements, but bottom line, we honestly love and find great pleasure each other’s company.

Husband Travis still carves walking sticks in his “Whittler on the Roof” studio. He displays and sells his canes at our bakery and has quite a following! Travis has no plans to retire from this hobby. As he explains it, “I’m not ready to lay down my knife just yet.” (Yes, those were his exact words, lol.)

My two oldest grandchildren, Jedidiah & Madison Templin, are the only family members who live out of state. Madison practices law in Chicago. She does not get to visit often, but before she comes home, she calls me to make sure I am cooking that weekend. Madison was unable to make it to our family reunion last year or be in our family picture. But not to worry! Brother Jed enlarged a photo of Madison’s head, and, like the adventures of “Flat Stanley,” “Flat Madison” appeared in all our 2017 festivities. However, as Madison was quick to remind us, “It’s not the same as being there.” This year, she wisely planned her vacation around the family picture.

Grandson Jed spent the year teaching and pursuing his masters at the University of Kansas. Although he benefitted greatly from his experience, he has decided to continue his learning locally AND take his Uncle Mike’s place at the bakery. I am both proud and encouraged that another generation is interested in continuing our family business. Mona exclaimed, “Finally! We have someone who knows a lot about technology!” Mike danced a jig at the news because he hopes to turn over part of his mixing job to Jed. My youngest grandchildren also have bakery responsibilities. Five-year old twins Lucy and Norian are now our official “Cookie Tasters.” Despite their increased responsibilities of kindergarten, they assure us they can continue their vigilant “Quality Control” over our cookies.

In closing, I again include some of my favorite recipes. Folks seem to appreciate this addition to my family letter. This year it is all about sweets! One of my side effects from chemo was that I lost my taste for sweets. Well, my taste buds have been found! Here are recipes for Moravian Sugar Cake, my favorite Pound Cake, Pumpkin Dip (great with our Ginger cookies) and Mona’s favorite, Pecan Pie (or tarts). All recipes can be found in my cookbook “Suppers at Six and We’re Not Waiting.”

Pecan Pie
1 c. white corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 whole eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 tsp. salt
1 heaping c. pecans, finely chopped
1/3 c. (5 Tbs) butter, melted
9″ unbaked reg. pie shell (or 15 tart shells)
Mix syrup, sugar, salt, butter (I use real butter) and vanilla. Mix in slightly beaten eggs. Pour in pie shell and sprinkle pecans over filling. Bake at 350° about 45 min. If you use tarts, they won’t take as long to bake, so watch carefully; I use store-bought tart shells. If recipe is doubled, it will make 30 tarts – bake tarts for 25 to 30 min.

Sunkist Pound Cake
1/2 lb butter, room temp 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. shortening 1 tsp orange flavoring
3 c. sugar 1 (8 oz) Sunkist
5 lg eggs (mix 1 at a time)
3 c. plain flour, unsifted (alternate adding w/Sunkist)
Optional: 1 orange, grated (add half to cake batter and half to icing)
Mix in order listed. Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 hours in a greased, floured tube pan.
Icing: 1 box powdered sugar
1 stick margarine
1 (3-1/2 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 tsp Sunkist or orange flavoring
Mix, adding more liquid if needed; apply to cake.

Pumpkin Dip
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
2 c. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Blend the powdered sugar and cream cheese together. Then add the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Serve with Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Ginger Crisp.

Moravian Sugar Cake
1 c. mashed potatoes (can be instant)     3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. shortening         3 eggs                   1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg               2 pkg yeast            7 c. flour
3 c. brown sugar       1 tsp cinnamon      1-1/2 sticks butter
Mix together potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt and nutmeg.
Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water and mix well. Sift in flour and knead until smooth, adding flour as needed. Place in greased bowl and let rise. Punch down and let rise again. Then spread on two greased 8″ x 10″ sheets. Let rise. Take index finger and punch holes over dough about every 3″. Spread brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter generously over dough. Bake at 400° until light brown.

Enjoy the recipes and enjoy life! Gather around your family table and
make some sweet memories! Until next year


Family Letter 2016/2017

Dear Friends,

I usually begin this letter by mentioning how grateful I am for my family, friends and good health. This year is no exception, however, I have acquired a deeper appreciation for “good health”. In November 2015, at the age of 83, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My goodness, those are two very scary words! So 2016 has seen a challenging battle. Often, at my age, chemotherapy is not considered, but because of my overall good health, it was an option that I took. All my fellow warriors out there have my respect because the “cure” is as much of a battle as is the cancer. At this time my prognosis looks good and I am very grateful (and glad to be done with the chemo!).

Although there were times I felt low, I did my best to keep busy. I continued cooking about three times a month (rather than every week). One of my chemo side effects was that everything tasted too sweet, which resulted in my losing quite a bit of weight. This was the first time a doctor ever encouraged me to consume foods high in calories! But dang it! Sweets just didn’t taste good. I’m sure I will get my sweet tooth back, and I doubt my weight on the scale will last very long. What fun I will have trying to gain weight for a change!

Of course, even when life hands you lemons, there are lemonade days! One day husband Travis called daughter Ramona for help because I had asked him to bring me some of the “green drink” (I could not think of the word “Perrier.”) Travis was especially frustrated because he is color blind. He asked Ramona, “How does she think I can find a green drink?” This color impairment, along with some male selective “blindness,” made waiting on me somewhat like a scavenger hunt. Then there was the day early in my treatment when I did not feel like going to the hairdresser, so Ramona volunteered to cut my hair. This could have been dangerous … when Ramona was growing up every doll she had ended up totally bald. She loved playing hairdresser. While I didn’t worry about going totally bald from haircuts, I was surprised that her long-dormant desire to cut hair bloomed and her own hair became shorter and shorter.

Now for other family news.

Our first “Cookie Taster,” grandson Jedidiah was a huge help this past year. Son Mike hurt his leg when he slipped down a creek bank and tore his Achilles tendon. Jed came in and helped Mike in shipping. It was the easiest year Mike has ever had! Jed will be attending grad school this fall at the University of Kansas where he will pursue his MFA in creative writing with a science fiction focus. Jed looks forward to checking out KU’s renowned science fiction library. He will be missed, especially by Mike who got spoiled having him here!

Granddaughter Madison graduated law school, passed the bar and is now an associate at a law firm in Chicago. Ramona asserts it is no surprise that Madison is being paid to argue and negotiate. Her nickname was “Mad dog Madison” growing up. “I guess all those years of mother/daughter conflict-resolution finally paid off!”. This really makes me laugh, because we used to joke that Ramona was so stubborn she would “argue with a sign post”. Payback is sweet.

So while Ramona’s children are leaving us, my youngest daughter Caroline’s children are here to fill the Cookie Taster positions. Caroline’s oldest, Evva Kate, is 7 and her twins, Norian and Lucy, are 4. Little Norian comes in and goes to work in his office processing “orders” that he demands we send to Madison in Chicago. All three love to practice their “taste tests.” Son Jonathan’s children, Isabella and Fiona, add singing and dancing to their duties. There is never a dull moment around here.

In other news, Travis continued to carve walking sticks in his “Whittler on the roof” workshop, and we both maintained substantial gardens. Travis helped this year by doing some of the planting I normally would have done. It was truly a labor of love to plant all 150 caladium bulbs.

So, healthwise, the year could have been better. But on other fronts, it was also a year of blessings. The love expressed by my family and friends, the kindnesses of friends and strangers, the thoughtful cards, books, and the delicious food have been treasured gifts for which I cannot begin to express my appreciation. My thanks to you all!

In closing, I will include a couple of my favorite recipes. Folks seemed to enjoy the ones I shared last year, so we will make it an annual thing. Here is my favorite recipe for Mint Tea. I serve it at every meal.

Mint Tea
Found in my cookbook “Supper’s at Six & We’re Not Waiting!”. Great to make ahead. Keeps well. (Recipe has been halved)
3 cups cold water 10 Mint leaves
5 regular tea bags 1 cup sugar
5 whole cloves 1 large can frozen lemonade
Bring water, tea bags, cloves, and mint leaves to a boil. Take off heat and cover; let stand for 10 minutes. Put 1 cup sugar in separate bowl. Strain tea mixture over sugar. Add can of frozen lemonade and an appropriate measure of water from can instructions. Add 3 more cups of cold water. Makes approximately 1 gallon

And here is Mona’s favorite desert. (I hope it will taste good to me soon!)

Blueberry Delight
Also found in my cookbook “Supper’s at Six & We’re Not Waiting!”
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts
1 stick butter
1 large (8 oz) low-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large (16 oz) tub Cool Whip
2 (16 oz) cans blueberry pie filling
For crust: Mix flour, brown sugar, and nuts in 10×12 pan; cut 1 stick of butter over this and bake 15 minutes at 325°; cool.
Mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Add 1/2 Cool Whip. Fold together and pour over crust. Let set and pour blueberry, cherry or favorite pie filling over and top with Cool Whip.

Wishing us all a year of joy and good health!

All the Best,
Evva Hanes

Family Letter 2015/2016

Dear Friends,

I hope you are enjoying the year 2015. As I mark my 83rd year on this grand earth, every year seems to go faster. Travis and I are thankful for our good health, and we keep very busy. I garden, read and cook. Travis continues to mow all the family yards and tool around on his tractor. He has become quite the craftsman, carving unique “walking sticks.” He calls his little studio “Whittler on the Roof.” The fact that his studio is neither on the roof nor even located in the barn (pictured), did not deter him from putting up one of his custom-made signs. Yes, Travis and his signs are notorious. We still laugh about how the one that read “Cookies for Sale” lured a woman into the bakery wanting to buy a dog. “Oh,” she said, “I thought the sign said “Collies for Sale”! “In fact, Travis’ walking sticks have become an unexpected sales hit, causing daughter Mona to complain that, “Daddy’s canes are taking over the whole bakery sales area!” (I think Ramona just wants to make sure there is room to display her hand-built pottery.)
Actually, our bakery is becoming known not only for our cookies (and walking sticks!), but also for the pottery our children, Mike and Ramona, and our son-in-law, Scott, make. If you live nearby, come visit! You may find a beautiful bowl in which to “serve up” your cookies. Then, if you get tired from all your shopping, you can purchase one of Travis’ walking sticks to help you back to your car.
Cooking for my family and our friends continues to be one of my great joys. In 2014, I supported our Friedberg Moravian Prison Ministry by “donating” dinners at my table for $30 each. All the proceeds went to support this ministry and garnered around $2,500. This year, over 140 eager eaters bought dinners, making the donation close to $4,200! During sign ups, Ramona leaned over and whispered, “Mom, please don’t die before you cook for all these people!” (Ramona hates to cook!)
Since cooking satisfies both me and my guests, I thought I would share with you one of the signature Moravian dishes I serve. I cannot invite you all to dinner, but I can give you the “tools” (recipes) so you can create delicious memories with your own family and friends. I hope you will find this tradition of hospitality as gratifying as I do!

Moravian Chicken Pie
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into one-inch chunks (see note)
1-1/2 cups chicken broth (made from cooking the chicken)
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. butter
2 pie crusts (I use the ones in the dairy section)
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: I use all white meat. I buy split chicken breasts; you probably only need two. To cook the chicken, cover it with 2 cups of water, add salt and pepper to taste, then simmer until done. Remove from broth. Let cool, discard the skin and bones, and chop. Reserve broth to use in pie.
Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom crust. Place chicken over the crust. Sprinkle with flour, then add broth and butter. Add more pepper if desired. Top with other pie crust and crimp edges together. Cut a slit in top of crust for steam to escape. Bake at 350° for approximately one hour, until brown.
This pie will serve 4, 5, or 6, depending on how hungry you are. At our church suppers, we serve ¼ of a pie per person, along with cole slaw, green beans and corn, potato salad, and pickles. As we serve 600-900 folks in three hours, this is a big fund raiser for our church. All of the money goes to support charities. For these suppers, we may make as many as 800 pies. All the pie crusts used to be rolled out by hand, but seven years ago we invested in a pie press. What a time saver! After the pies are made, we let them cool, then freeze them until ready to bake. Chicken pies freeze beautifully! (So you should really make several at a time.)

Cole Slaw
2 cups water
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. celery seed
Medium head of cabbage
small green and red peppers
Bring the water, vinegar, sugar and celery seed to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut head of cabbage finely with a knife, or grate. Dice and add the small green and red peppers. Completely cover the cabbage and peppers with the liquid, add salt to taste, then refrigerate. This slaw keeps indefinitely. (Well, until you eat it, that is!)
I wish all of you another wonderful year! Now gather round the table and make some memories!


Food & family make memories.

Family Letter 2014/2015

Dear Friends,

We hope this past year has been a happy and healthy one for you and yours. It has been an exciting one for our family. Not only are Travis and I a year older, we celebrated our 62nd wedding anniversary! I think keeping busy keeps you young. Yes, at 82, we have a few aches and pains, but we try to keep going. (I am afraid if I slow down, I might not be able to speed back up!) We both still enjoy working in our flower and vegetable gardens. We still grow and “put up” most of the vegetables that I serve during our family dinners once a week. Travis is never happier than when he is on his lawn mower or tractor. He still mows all the family yards, a service for which Mona wants everyone to know that she is so very grateful!

Bakery News
It really is difficult to say how many years we have been in business. My mother actually baked these cookies in a woodstove and sold them locally. But if you just count the years since I started making them, it is over 50 years. The past 5 decades saw a few ups and downs, but nothing was as dismal as 2008. However, we persevered, and last year we finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel. We began 2013 working 5 days a week, moved to 6days a week in October and still ran out of cookies in December. This year, we started 6 days a week in March and even hired 2 new employees – the first additions to our staff since 2008! We plan to be better prepared this Holiday season. That’s the thing about a handmade cookie: you can only make a limited number in a day. But we are not complaining. We are just so happy to be providing our employees with full-time work, and we are overjoyed when we have to pay overtime! We are so grateful to all of you, our loyal customers and friends, who have supported our bakery over the years. We could not have survived without you. So…“THANK YOU!” We also want to thank our friends at UNC-TV who filmed a wonderful documentary on our bakery, “Lighter than Air”. It aired (no pun intended) during November 2013 and brought us many compliments. If you would like to see it, just go to our website and click on “PRESS” to the left of the homepage. We think it is a thoroughly entertaining, educational segment. You get to see all the family, my home kitchen and the bakery.

Our Newest “Cookie Tasters”
Oh my, how daughter Caroline’s twins (now 2½ years old) keep us hopping and entertained! They live next door and come by the bakery several times a week to “taste test.” With their frequent visits, they have managed to wrap all the employees around their cute little fingers. Big sister Evva Kate started kindergarten this year. She has the same teacher (Hey Mrs. Decker!) that her cousins Jed (now 28) and Madison (24) had for kindergarten! Daughter Mona, (Jed & Madison’s mom) says, “at least Mrs. Decker knows what to expect.”

Grandchildren Updates
Madison and Jedidiah (Mona’s children), will graduate from their respective colleges in spring 2015. Madison is still thriving in Chicago and DePaul, although she did get a little tired of the cold this past winter. Jed will finish in the Creative Writing Department at UNC-Asheville. (Maybe he can take over writing this newsletter!) Scott and Mona just hope their graduations are not on the same day! Isabella and Fiona are both doing great in school. Isabella sometimes helps her Aunt Caroline at the bakery on Saturdays and seems to be exhibiting some talent as a cookie maker (all genetic, I’m sure). Fiona is an exceptional dancer.

Supper’s at Six
I continue to cook for my family most every weekend because I love to cook for a crowd and feel blessed when surrounded by family and friends. Carrying on our weekly supper tradition is very important to my family, too. Madison always makes sure I will be cooking before she books a flight home from Chicago. Recently, our church hosted a fundraiser for our local Moravian Prison Ministry. I “donated” dinners at my table for $30 each, with all the proceeds going to that ministry. Not only did we raise over $2,500, we met some really wonderful people, making me feel even more blessed to be able to help others with an activity that brings me such great pleasure.

‘Til next year
I wish you all a wonderful 2014-2015. I am sure it will pass by too quickly…well, except for Mona. She has been on a very strict diet (wants to look good at those graduations) and she said she has never seen time move more slowly. So I guess if time is passing you by too swiftly, go on a diet. But remember, always make room for cookies!

All the best,

Evva Hanes

Family Letter 2013/2014

Our Cookie Family

Dear Friends,

Another year! This year Travis and I celebrated our 81st birthdays and our 61st wedding anniversary. Every day is a blessing, and we are so grateful for our continued good health. Except for a few aches and pains, I feel much the same as I did when I was younger. The only thing I can’t comprehend is how my oldest child, Ramona, can be 60 years old! That just does not seem possible. Ramona agrees with me. She says the only time she realizes her age (or notices her weight) is when she sees a photograph. Therefore, Ramona has tried to establish a new “Family Photo Policy” by decreeing that “all pictures of Mona should be taken at a distance of at least 100 feet and from the neck up.” Naturally, this has ensured that all family members are trying to take as many close-up photos of her as possible. Now that is one thing that has remained a constant! My children still enjoy joking around and irritating each other. That identifies one of the main challenges in a family business: there is no one you love more than your family and no one that can “get your goat” faster than a brother or a sister. All in all, I would have to say that Ramona and Mike (President and Vice President of the bakery, in that order) manage their disagreements rather well (although Ramona has joked that sometimes the office help deserves combat pay). Having a good sense of humor helps in our family just like it does in the larger world!
Ramona keeps the sign below at her desk. “Our New Year’s Resolution: We will not fight or fuss in 1965.” Sometimes I have to remind them that their pact needs renewal.


The Newest “Cookie Taster” Additions
Daughter Caroline’s twins, who will be two in October, have enjoyed a happy and a mostly healthy year. There is rarely a dull moment when they are around. Watching them “grow” into their personalities keeps us entertained. They are so different! Evva Kate, the twins’ big sister, (age 5), helps her mom look after them, and the twins adore her. All three take their “Cookie Tasting” jobs seriously. In fact, one of the twin’s first words was “cookie.”

Grandchildren Updates
Madison loves being in Chicago where she attends law school at DePaul University. Her first Chicago winter gave her a whole new appreciation for “puffy coats.” She enjoys sharing her rural roots with the “city slickers.” “Yes,” she tells her friends, “my house is up a dirt road, and yes, I have dug potatoes.” She has also proven to be quite the sales representative and increased our business in Chicago! Grandson Jed has been a big help at the bakery this past year, working on Saturdays when his Aunt Caroline is unavailable, and letting Uncle Mike teach him to mix up dough. Mike experienced some back problems this past year, (“old age” says Ramona). “Mixing up the dough” means scooping out thousands of pounds of dough by hand and placing it in 21-pound storage containers—a challenge to a “mature” back. Having younger family members around is a tremendous asset because it really does take a family to run this business. We hope to get Isabella and Fiona to pitch in soon. In the meantime, they continue to excel in school. You should hear Isabella sing!

Keeping Busy
Mike and Ramona and son-in-law Scott still make pottery and display it at the bakery. Mike and Scott’s pieces are functional and Ramona’s are, well, let’s say, “interesting.” Son-in-law Norian was making pottery, but these days he stays pretty busy chasing the twins and Evva Kate. Travis still rides around the farm on his tractor and scouts for well-shaped branches that he makes into walking sticks. My love of gardening endures as I continue to delight in watching vegetables grow and flowers bloom. Mike insists that I have never met a plant I did not want or a seed catalog I could resist. I derive as much pleasure from growing food as my family does eating it.

Making Memories
And so another year passes by. During my 81 years, one of the things I have tried to do is create wonderful memories for my children and grandchildren. Two of those memories involved trips we shared, Disney World (20 years ago) and hiking the Grand Canyon (15 years ago). We still talk about those trips. However, the majority of those memories were made by simply sharing time together. It’s a simple gift, time. I love to cook for my family, and once a week we all take the time to gather around the dinner table. We have spent hours at that table, laughing together, teasing each other, playing games, and watching the children grow up. In March, Granddaughter Madison really wanted to come home from Chicago to celebrate her birthday and surprise her mom. However, before she made the reservation, she called to make sure I could cook. I must say that made me feel very special. So until next year, here’s wishing you and your family much joy as you make your own happy memories. Thank you for being our customer!

Evva Hanes

Family Letter 2012/2013

Our Cookie Family

Dear Friends,

We hope the past year has been as joyful for you as it has for us.

I honestly cannot believe that Travis and I turned 80 years old and in June observed our 60th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a “small” family reunion for about 75. We continue to be blessed with good health and plenty to keep us busy. Travis spends a lot of time driving his tractor and mowing the kids’ yards, while I love working in the garden and cooking. Our oldest child, Ramona, age 59 (I know she will appreciate my mentioning her age), freely admits that Travis and I can still “work circles around her.” She also complains my memory is “much too good” and asks that I “please stop sharing stories” about her younger years with her children. “Really Mom,” protests Ramona, “it just isn’t helpful to have my daughter tell me that according to Grandma, you were pretty wild when you were my age.” (Ah, payback is sweet!)

I think being a voracious reader has helped to keep my mind sharp. As my children grew up, they passed along their old books to me. Finally, Ramona suggested I check out our small county library. (Actually she refers to it as “her library,” since she thinks it is her overdue fines that helped them build a new wing.) So at 79, I got my first library card! Mona admits she has mixed emotions about sharing her library with me because since I “joined up” all the newest books (the 14-day books) seem to be in limited supply. She said every time she walks into the library someone says, “Why, your mom was just here!”

Newest Additions
But I have much more news to share about why this year has been filled with joy. Our youngest daughter Caroline delivered twins on October 25, 2011—a boy and a girl. (Yes, Caroline herself was a bit of a surprise as she and Ramona are 16 years apart in age!) Evva Kate (their 4-year-old sister) wanted to name them “Doggie” and “Kitty,” but they were christened with the family names of “Norian Travis” and “Lucinda Jean.” Born about a month early, little Lucy’s medical problems kept her in the hospital until Feb 29, 2012. She may take a while to catch up to her brother in weight, but she is a real fighter. Having babies around again makes us “mature” family members feel younger, and Evva Kate is a wonderful big sister. (If you look closely at the family picture you can see the twins only have eyes for their beloved “Big Sis”!) Naturally, everyone in the family helps out when they can. Aunt Ramona even bought a car seat for her car. However she is not fond of people asking her how she is enjoying her grandchild.

Keeping Busy
Son Mike is still putting about 150 miles a week on his bike. (That’s about 6,000 miles a year!) Making pottery also remains a favorite hobby of many family members. We display their wares at our bakery and most dinners involve a discussion of throwing techniques and glazes. Mike, Scott and Norian all make wheel-thrown, functional pottery and Ramona describes her hand-built pottery as, “non-functional and very weird.” Travis also had to get in on the creative action, so he displays his handcrafted walking sticks. He does a lot of his scouting for potential canes while he is out “riding the trails” on his tractor.

Grandchildren Update
Our youngest Cookie Tasters (Isabella, Fiona, and Evva Kate) continue to excel at their jobs. Madison (Cookie Taster Emeritus) just graduated from High Point University, the same university Travis graduated from 58 years ago. She will move to Chicago this fall to attend Law school at DePaul University. We will miss her very much, but fortunately she has lots of Templin Cousins in the Chicago area. We have promised to keep them supplied with cookies if they will keep a close eye on her. “She is going to miss me soooo much,” says Mona, her mom. But I suspect I know who will be doing most of the “missing.” Grandson Jed has added piano skills to his guitar playing. He had a keyboard for practice, but was missing the feel of a “real” piano. Ramona recalled that Mike took piano lessons thirty plus years ago. (She says she remembers it so vividly, “because Mike would play the same song over and over and over.”) Mike politely ignored his sister’s comment and gave his old piano to Jed. After Jed evicted the family of mice that lived inside, the piano sounded just fine!

Quite a Year!
All in all, it has been quite a year! Time marches on, (much too quickly for my taste), but I focus my efforts on savoring each moment and treasuring each child or grandchild. I wish you boundless joy and good health in the coming year. May you have the time and take the time to cherish all of your special moments and dear ones. We certainly cherish having you as a customer and as a friend.

Evva Hanes

Family Letter 2011/2012

family letter 2011

Our Cookie Family

Dear Friends,

Greetings! The Holiday Season of 2010 was one of hope for our family business. We were blessed with an abundance of national and local media coverage, advertising we could never have begun to pay for and for which we are very grateful. Such positive coverage renewed our commitment to continue to make our cookies the old fashioned way — by hand. We are indebted to our loyal employees who have supported us during this challenging economic time and thank them for their understanding and perseverance. We are also grateful to you, our dear customers (friends) and promise to continue to provide our personal attention to every order. If you call us (during office hours), we will answer the phone in person (not by machine). Thus, you will speak to someone who genuinely cares about providing the best service possible. And lastly, we express our sincere appreciation to the following publications and media sources that gave us hope that, economically, our little North Carolina family business will not only survive, but thrive.

Special thanks to the following magazines and newspapers:
Dec/Jan 2010–Country Woman Magazine, and contributing editor Ann Kaiser. July 2010–Our State Magazine listed us as one of the “100 foods you must eat in NC’s 100 Counties.” December 2010—Southern Lady Magazine for an article celebrating people, places and things from the south. December 2010–O, The Oprah Magazine – Oprah chose Mrs. Hanes Cookies as one of her favorite things. February & March 2011–Taste of The South Magazine featured our cookies in the “Good Stuff” section. The Dispatch, The Winston-Salem Journal and The Clemmons Courier.

Special thanks to the following television programs:
Liz Horton, WBTV, from Charlotte, N.C. came in July 2010 and did a wonderful segment entitled “A Good News Story.” They also returned again and featured us three times during December in “A Carolina Camera Christmas” TV special. Julie Wunder, WLOS TV, in Asheville, N.C. featured our bakery in a Feb. 2011 segment called “One day Wunders.” WFMY TV, Greensboro, N.C. featured us in December on “Made in the Triad.” TCT (Total Christian Television) featured us in a show called “TCT Today on the Road” that aired in April 2011. Food TV Network/Travel Channel that often shows re-runs of stories filmed in 2000 and 2004. (It is a testament to respect for our traditions that nothing has changed since that filming except our ages and weights!) All our local TV stations: WXII, WFMY & WGHP for their continuing support of our bakery during the regular news.

In addition, a big THANK YOU to the 30,000 people who visit our Bakery each year either to take a tour or just buy cookies. Our bakery has been accused of being in the “middle of nowhere.” We appreciate your taking the time to drive out to the country so we can share our heritage and our cookies with you.

And now the family news: Travis and I (age 78) continue in good health. Even though we are approaching six decades of marriage, the highlight of my week (and theirs) is when all the family joins in fellowship at my dinner table. My children, grandchildren and extended family never seem to tire of my cooking! Although they may dread picking all the vegetables and digging over 1,500 pounds of potatoes every summer, they sure enjoy them when I cook.
Son Michael (Vice President) still rides his bike. In fact, last year he put almost as many miles on his bike (6,000) as he did his car! Daughter Ramona (President) and her husband celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary with a cruise. Ramona is sure she broke airline records for the number of bags she packed and the overweight baggage fees she paid. However, you must forgive someone who looks so forward to a trip that she starts packing three months before!

Our “older” cookie tasters, Jed (25), Madison (21), Isabella (13) and Fiona (9) continue to excel at their quality control duties and other activities. Jed works at a great bookstore where he keeps his eye out for deals for all of us who love to read. Jed assembles stars for our bakery customers (a truly stellar assembler!). Madison spent a semester in Australia in a Study Abroad Program with High Point University. (“Studying, ha!” says her mom.) Madison also works at the Bakery on weekends. Fiona and Isabella dance, sing, and continue to work hard in school. Evva Kate, who at age three is our youngest cookie taster, is often featured in our special emails, along with one of my favorite recipes. (So think twice before you unsubscribe!)

Daughter Caroline and son-in-laws Norian and Scott all help us out during the holidays. Yes, we are truly a family business.

I am sorry that the personal family news was a bit on the short side. However, I thought it was important to say “Thank you” to those individuals and organizations mentioned above who helped restore our hope in the future of our small business and to whom we are deeply grateful. Indeed, we are most blessed through your support.

All my best,
Evva Hanes

Family Letter 2010/2011

family letter 2011

Our Cookie Family

Dear Friends,

Once again, we thank you for your loyalty to our small family business. It has never been easy to make a cookie by hand using only rolling pins and cookie cutters. The current economic situation presents new challenges to us to see profit yet preserve what may seem to be an antiquated manufacturing method. However, thanks to you we remain optimistic. As we began to do in 2009, we continue to be conservative and limit our baking hours. Fortunately, we have been able to offer our employees additional opportunities apart from baking. It may be a while before business is back to 2007 totals, but we feel fortunate. We consider our two greatest blessings to be our wonderful “Artists in Aprons” and you, our loyal customers. The entire Hanes family joins me in saying “thank you all” from the bottom of our hearts.
In family news – Our cookie tasters (the grandchildren) continue to take their duties very seriously. Since Evva Kate (soon to be two years old) lives next door to our bakery, she comes down twice a day to perform her “taste tests.” Daughter Mona often features Evva Kate in her special occasion e-mail blasts and reminders. Make sure you give us your email address when you order because Mona also includes one of my favorite recipes in the e-news. You can watch Evva Kate grow up and get some tasty recipes!
Travis and I (now 77) have been married 58 years. We continue to enjoy good health and a love of gardening. 2010 saw our garden on the “Davidson County Master Gardeners Tour.” I had flowers everywhere! I will admit the “JUST SAY NO” messages my children humorously write on my gardening catalogs go unheeded. However, Travis has suggested (insisted) I start limiting the size of my portable flowerpots. He says, “Evva, I love you, but my big pot moving days are over!”(Although he is very inventive!-See photo.)

In addition to flowers, I grow and can most of the vegetables we eat. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, that is “can” as a verb, meaning to preserve.) Last July my children and their spouses helped “dig” 2,000 lbs of potatoes! Watching them on their hands and knees “playing” in the dirt was the highlight of my year. I felt like the luckiest mom on earth. Okay, perhaps their main incentive is because I cook for them weekly, but they also really do like each other (and me). Daughter Ramona suggested we start a new business called “Farm Camp.” Guests can pitch a tent, bathe in the creek, dig potatoes, pick & shell beans, shuck corn, and experience Life on the Farm. She says, “Why should we have all the fun?” (I think she is just trying to get out of work – but let me know if you are interested.)

That’s the family update. Thanks again for your loyalty. You give hope and joy to our little N.C. family business of folks who not only make an American product, we make it by hand. When you eat Mrs. Hanes Cookies, you are tasting a labor of love.

Wishing you health, love, & laughter,

Evva Hanes

Family Letter 2009/2010

family letter 2009

Our Cookie Family
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

Dear Friends,

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 Hanes

Family Letter 2008/2009

famly letter 2008

Dear Friends,

I honestly don’t know how time can pass so quickly. Travis and I (at age 76) continue to enjoy good health which is a blessing. My flower and vegetable gardens are flourishing. This year granddaughter Madison invited 22 of her friends and their parents to my house for her final high school prom photo opportunity that took place in my gardens. Our neighbor’s children and my grandchildren were the servers of assorted canapés and crudités. They were so cute (see photo). Granddaughter Madison will be attending High Point University in the fall. Travis is excited because he graduated from High Point in 1954. Madison is now “Cookie Taster Emeritus” at our bakery and will be expanding her duties to become “Head of Collegiate Sales.” Cousin Isabella will be “Chief Cookie Taster.” Since Isabella describes herself as a “dessertarian” she knows she is up to the challenge of that job. Her sister Fiona will be our “Assistant Cookie Taster.”

With Madison off to College, President Ramona and husband Scott are going to become “empty nesters.” Ramona says she is looking forward to having a clean house and NOT hearing the pitter-patter of high heels on the hardwood stairs that go up by their bedroom. She is also curious to find out what the original carpet color is in Madison’s room since it has been so long since she has seen the floor. I remind Ramona that there is hope for her daughter, because it does not seem like that long ago I used to close the door on her bedroom and tried not to think about the mess inside. I certainly never thought that one day a clean house would be one of my daughter’s dreams!

Vice President Mike continues riding his bike about 150 miles a week. He also enjoys “joking” with the office staff (all of which are women and all of which are on a constant diet) and making little comments like “You know, I really am going to have to eat more, I’m just getting so fit and lean.” Sister Ramona suggested that he go and “drown himself in a vat of ice cream.” Mike also makes beautiful hand- thrown pottery that we have on display and for sale at the bakery. However, Ramona says that if he continues to make jokes about his weight loss, the office is going to start doing their own “hand- throwing” of pottery-namely HIS.

In some sad news, we did have to say goodbye to Mocha our company dog who was “Chief of Security” for the past 15 years. She was a loyal employee and we miss her very much. However, she has been replaced by her good friend Moses. While no one will ever be able to replace Mocha, Moses is doing a fine job-except during thunderstorms when he tends to jump into any car that has an open window to take refuge. Note to local customers: please close your windows when you park at the bakery.

As for me, I continue to cook every week for at least 30 people (see family table photo) and consider every day a blessing. The joy I feel when my family joins hands in prayer every Saturday at my kitchen table makes me feel like I am the most blessed person in the world.

Until Next Year,

Evva Hanes