History was made with the
World's Largest Fruitcake - 150 lbs. (5 Ft. X 6 Ft.)
Gladys' Bakery opened for business in 1972 in Cistern, Texas. This tiny Czechoslovakian hamlet is located in Fayette County about 60 miles southeast of Austin. It is the creation of Gladys Farek, a mother of 6 girls, looking for an outlet for her creative baking talents.
Gladys started out by baking homemade bread and selling it to local restaurants in Flatonia and other nearby towns up and down Interstate 10. She then added cookies to her repertoire; as many as 700 dozen a week. Her garage became a full-fledged bakery and Gladys' Cookies Shop (as it was originally named) was the local hangout on Thursday afternoons when she offered her fresh baked goods for sale. Gladys' daughters helped the family business by working after school.
The Farek's lived on a large farm and hard work was common, both in and out of the kitchen. Soon Gladys was baking bread, cookies, pies, jelly and cinnamon rolls. When Gladys decided to try her hand at making a fruitcake her goal was to change the way the world thought of it, then she combined and re-altered several recipes until she came up with one that suited her.
Gladys boasted that her fruitcakes were loaded with fresh pecans with just enough batter to hold it all together with no raisins, dates, spices or citron. The locals were impressed! The first year, she mixed everything by hand and sold about 1,000 pounds worth. The following year she bought a cement mixer and painted it bright red to mix the huge quantity of fruitcake and a legend was created! She built a separate bakery next to her home and became famous for her award winning fruitcakes.
In 1990 Gladys appeared on the Johnny Carson Show and the following year she was a guest on The David Letterman Show to show off her 150 pound Texas-shaped fruitcake. Gladys' fruitcakes are shipped around the world and are in a class of their own.
Gladys is retired now but the treasured fruitcakes are still available. Gladys' daughter, Melissa, carries on her mother's love for baking.
The bakery has been moved 30 miles east, but still resides in Fayette County and the family recipes are still followed with great care.