The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

September 20, 2012

Eilenberger Bakery closed for holiday season

PALESTINE — Southern Fulfillment Services, LLC, the parent company of Palestine’s historic 113-year-old Eilenberger Bakery will not be opening its Palestine bake shop this fall.

“Right now we will not be opening the bake shop this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t open again,” Southern Fulfillment Services President Alex Brown said Wednesday during a phone interview with the Herald-Press. “Nothing is off the table at this point. This is the short-term plan for this season. We will re-evaluate in the spring.”

Although the Palestine bakery will not open this holiday season,  Eilenberger Bakery products including favorites such as its Texas Pecan Cake, fruit cakes and gourmet baked goods still will be sold through its catalog and website.

“We’re continuing to operate the brand and are looking to continue to grow the brand. Right now we are planning to use a regional bakery for this season,” Brown said, without disclosing the name of the bakery that will be used. “We are going to focus on mail order and the Internet for our sales right now.”

Brown said there were a number of reasons why the Palestine bake shop will not be opened this holiday season — including rising costs in the economy, improving the quality level of its items and the prospect of adding more items to its catalog.

“We felt like with this bakery we are going to use, we had an opportunity to offer additional selection of items and provide better products to our customers,” Brown said.

With the holiday catalog in its final drafts and scheduled to be released within the next month to six weeks, Brown said customers will enjoy a larger selection this season.

“We’re pretty excited. Obviously, we have the Texas Pecan Cake and the fruit cakes. All of the customer favorites are going to remain the same, but we have some new gifts, quite a few new gifts that we will be offering this year,” Brown said.

“One of the capabilities that we will have for our fruit cakes is adding bourbon and rum in it, for example, selections we weren’t able to do before. We also will sell an assortment of individually wrapped slices because we know people like to try a variety and it makes a nice gift. This opportunity not only includes traditional favorites but a lot of new items that the customers can be excited about as well.”

At present, the Palestine bakery only had a handful of employees — and normally would have hired additional employees for its holiday baking season.

“We’re still making a determination who will stay on, that is something in discussion,” Brown said. “We are going to still own the bakery and still want to be part of the community. This is interim step for us to improve our operations, just for this season, and we will reexamine the subject (of opening the bakery in Palestine) in the spring.”

To request an Eilenberger Bakery catalog, call 1-800-788-2996 or visit http://www.eilenbergerbakery.com.

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