By Mikaylee Flowers
Randy Scott is one of seven owners of Southern Supreme Fruitcake in Bear Creek, North Carolina. He is one of seven owners. When his mother started the business she promised her kids that if they helped her that she would give them part of the ownership. The seven owners are his mom, his dad, him, his wife, his brother, and his two sisters. His wife does financial work, his sister runs the show room, his brother does the manufacturing, and his other sister helps where it is needed. Although he is one of many owners, he has been a major contributor to the success of their family business. Due to his parents getting older in age, the responsibilities amongst him and the other owners has increased over the years. There have been some changes in the way things are as the business has progressed over the years. For example, now they have a 30,000 square foot facility with over one hundred employees. His mother is no longer in charge of making the fruitcakes because it would be physically impossible for one person to make over three hundred pounds of fruitcake in one day, alone.
How it Started
The business was started in a two car garage by his mother in 1984; it has been a family business ever since. His mothers fruitcake recipe was something that she wanted to share with others. At first they were only making fruitcakes for people in the community, mainly close friends and family, because they didn’t know how things would work out in the future. After making fruitcake for people in the community they began selling their fruitcake at a Christmas show in Raleigh. In 1990 they built their first building and had a show room in their front kitchen for people to watch the process.
How it has Grown
Since 1990 they have built on to their first building eleven times. At first they thought that it would be challenging to get people to try their fruitcake at the shows but they noticed that there was potential for success when people returned after the shows to purchase their cakes. From that day, their family continued to build a successful store and they did mail order business in their town. As the computer age began they developed the mail order list for their customers that wanted to order things, to send to their friends and family. Although there have been problems along the way, their family has overcame the problems. A good portion of their employees have been retired people that live in the community and the others are people who are just looking for extra work. The economy is getting better so it has been harder for them to find people who are willing to work hard. Since 1984 they have never had a down year, the business has grown every year.
What it is Now
Over the years their business got around to more people in surrounding counties simply by word of mouth. As their business got around to more people in surrounding counties they grew into a larger business and they are now in a 30,000 square foot facility. Now they sell other things such as nuts, chocolate, jelly, baked goods, and more. In the off season there isn’t much to do but during the season the day starts at 4:30am. The first batch of cake has to be made and in the oven by 5:30am. It takes about an hour and a half to cook the cake so it’s usually out and ready to be boxed around 7am. As far as the other four kitchens, they make around 130–140 products. They have five kitchens that all start at the same time. Some of the kitchens require more employees than others. There is normally twelve people in the fruitcake kitchen to get the fruitcake made and then eight people to box it. The day usually ends at 5:30pm or 6:30pm. There are usually about 5,000 to 6,000 people that come through their show room on the daily.