Tom Ford poses for a photo alongside some of the fruit cake which was made using his super secret recipe. ford has been making and selling the Christmas cake for 19 years, but since moving into the Manor he agreed to allow ladies at the United Church to make it for him. (Photo by Leah Bousfield)

Tom Ford poses for a photo alongside some of the fruit cake which was made using his super secret recipe. ford has been making and selling the Christmas cake for 19 years, but since moving into the Manor he agreed to allow ladies at the United Church to make it for him. (Photo by Leah Bousfield)

Rimbey United Church keeping local holiday tradition alive

A small group of women worked with Tom Ford to bake and sell his holiday fruit cakes this year

A long-time Rimbey holiday tradition is continuing through a community endeavour.

For almost 20 years, Tom Ford baked and sold Christmas fruit cake in the community, but after moving into Valleyview Manor, he was unable to continue with the tradition he started.

A group of women at the Rimbey United Church stepped forward to continue making the festive cakes in his stead.

“One day the United Church asked me for my recipe to raise money for the church. I thought about it for a week and decided they may as well try it. Seems to be going pretty well, so far so good,” Ford said.

Annette Boorman, a member of the Rimbey United Church, said the idea to continue baking the cakes was two fold. On one hand the group wanted to fundraise for the church, and on the other hand they wanted to keep a local holiday tradition alive.

Boorman said the church, like so many other organizations and businesses, are struggling right now, and they wanted to find a way to support the church during a difficult time.

“Like so many others we are struggling. We want to keep our church alive,” Boorman said.

A small group of about four women were trusted with Ford’s super-secret recipe.

Ford received the recipe from his brother, a baker who lived in Ontario. He said his brother and another man worked for weeks to perfect the recipe before sending it to him in 2000.

“I started making these Christmas cakes and they turned really good. First year I made 600 two-pound cakes. People got to know about the cakes so I started to make them year round,” Ford said.

After a few years of making the cakes Ford said he was making upwards of 1,300 two-pounds cakes and an additional 400 one-pound cakes.

Before moving into the Manor in 2019, Ford was making close to 1,600 two-pound cakes and 600 one-pound cakes each year.

When the group from the church began baking Ford’s recipe, he was there to guide and advice them on the best practises, which the group was very appreciative of.

According to Boorman, the group agreed to never share the recipe and to only use it to raise money for the church around Christmastime.

“When someone is generous enough and a leader like Tom is, you don’t want to do anything to disrespect him and his generosity,” said Boorman.

This year the group baked a much smaller batch of the Christmas staple, and sold out very quickly.

They kept the price the same as Ford’s pricing at $20 for a two-pound cake and $10 for a one-pound cake.

“This is a tradition for Rimbey. Tom has baked them for 19-20 years, he has always had them without fail. We wanted to try and keep that tradition alive,” said Boorman.

“This was the end of my 19 years of baking cakes alone,” Ford said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stettler resident Jaden Norman is pictured here outside of the Stettler Learning Centre where she lends a helping hand as a volunteer tutor. photo contributed
Stettler’s Jaden Norman has discovered the many joys of giving back

National Volunteer Week runs April 18th to 24th

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
A commercial building, housing two businesses, in Stettler was completed destroyed by a fire Thursday. (Photo courtesy Stettler Regional Fire Department)
Fire destroys commercial building in Stettler

Giant plume of smoke attracts spectators

Stettler County
Highlights from County of Stettler council – April 14th

The County of Stettler has received a clean audit for the 16th year in a row

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read