Holidays mark return of the Fruitcake Guy

Anyone interested in purchasing a fruitcake can contact Will Dunlop at Kiwanis Victoria at 250-595-3133

When Mickey Stevens stopped by the dentist’s office to pick up his wife Lilian, he left behind a flyer advertising fruitcakes for sale in support of Kiwanis clubs of Greater Victoria.

“The next morning while I was out, the dental office called and said they wanted three cakes,” Stevens said. “Since then they’ve phoned and said ‘Can you bring another one.’ That’s how it happens.”

That’s how Stevens went from selling 10 fruitcakes during his first year with a Winnipeg-based Kiwanis Club in the 1970s to selling 600 last year in Greater Victoria. Since Stevens moved to Saanich in 1986, he’s been scouting prospective customers everywhere he goes.

He’ll approach someone in a grocery store parking lot when he spots a cart without a fruitcake. He’ll even solicit new business at a bus stop when the opportunity presents itself.

“I have a lot of people call me The Fruitcake Guy,” Stevens said. “As long as it sells me cakes, I’m happy with it. Anything to sell cakes.”

The cakes are an easy sell for Stevens, who admits he doesn’t like asking for charitable donations without offering something in return.

“It’s our own recipe and we know it’s a good recipe,” Stevens said, adding that it’s the only one on the market that’s been adequately aged.

He knows just about everything there is to know about the fruitcake – its historical significance in the days of Queen Victoria, the intricacies of Weston Fruitcake Company’s original recipe and how the hefty cakes weigh-in at a half a pound heavier than labelled on the box.

“There’s a bit of a saying that it brings a person good luck to have Christmas cake,” Stevens said with a laugh.

If Stevens is right, there might be link between the two boxes of fruitcake that sit on his kitchen counter and the fact that he recently celebrated his 95th birthday.

Battling his desire to reconnect with loyal customers, many of whom he has  known for decades, Stevens handed his contacts over to the five Kiwanis Clubs of Greater Victoria this year. Instead, he has focused 100 per cent of his efforts on recruiting.

“I said if one person can sell 600 cakes, surely you can find one or two people to look after a fifth of that. And they did. They became enthused and this year they ordered 1,080.”

Stevens isn’t just The Fruitcake Guy. When not pushing cakes, he keeps busy with an array of other volunteer endeavours including delivering library books to people who are isolated from the community. The retiree is also the president of the 800 Pacific Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association, a role that sees him regularly visit with veterans.

Anyone interested in purchasing a fruitcake can contact Will Dunlop at Kiwanis Victoria, 1419 Mallek Crs. or 250-595-3133 between 8 a.m. and noon weekdays or email him at kiwanisvictoria@shaw.ca.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Prolific offender found sleeping in Oak Bay resident’s car

Of 106 calls to 911 last week, eight were abandoned

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

Researchers head out from Sidney to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano

The Explorer Seamount is as large as Greater Vancouver and full of previously undiscovered species

RCMP identify Sidney bank robbery suspect, believe he is still on Vancouver Island

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

BC Ferries’ top boss helps clean Willows Beach

Old shoe, men’s underpants and too many cigarette butts on Willows

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read