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

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Victoria City Councillor Laurel Collins wins federal NDP nomination

Collins will run for Victoria in the upcoming federal election

Long weekend starts with series of crashes

The long weekend traffic pile up is starting with a series of… Continue reading

Police investigating after crash on Hillside Avenue

Traffic was obstructed while involved vehicles removed from scene

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Most Read