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Businesses offering edible fare see business pick up as Thanksgiving approaches

November 19, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Rick Cook makes a pie crust for a pumpkin pie Friday at Icing Bakery & Cafe in Boonsboro.
Rick Cook makes a pie crust for a pumpkin pie Friday at Icing Bakery & Cafe in Boonsboro.

Bill Williams of Hedgesville, W.Va., usually travels the week of Thanksgiving but said he and his wife will stay home this year and prepare the holiday meal.

“We’ve gotten preliminary Thanksgiving stuff such as turkey and stuffing,” said Williams, 65. “We’ve also started to test pumpkin pie recipes. It’ll be nice to be home for the week.”

Thanksgiving preparations for many area residents and businesses began well ahead of time. With the holiday approaching, bakeries, meat markets and grocery stores prepared for an onslaught of customers.

“It’s a very good time of year,” Holsinger’s Meats and Deli Manager Robby Holsinger said. “You have times when you’re busy and things could be hectic, but our business wouldn’t do well without it.”

Leading up to Thanksgiving, fresh turkeys that have never been frozen from a poultry supplier in York, Pa., along with sausages, beef, pork roasts, fresh oysters and boneless leg of lamb are all popular products at the shop, Holsinger said.

“It’s a wide variety of meat and food people are purchasing this time of year,” he said.

At Hoffman’s Quality Meats, owner Mike Trippett said this Thanksgiving season has been busy.

The business, which gets turkeys from a farm south of Harrisburg, Pa., begins preparing for Thanksgiving as early as August, he said. The turkeys are smoked in a wood smoker, and the sausages are hand-stuffed and made daily.

“Right now it’s probably a little more busy than it has been in the past, and sales are starting to increase,” Trippett said. “It’s a blessing and a curse. We’re very thankful for the business we receive, but at the same time we’re working around the clock.”

The holiday feast involves more than turkey. Cooks also are in the market for cranberry sauce, pies and other sweets.

Hagerstown resident Linda Strite, 64, completed much of her Thanksgiving grocery shopping last week.

“I’ve gotten the turkey, pie crust, pumpkin, stuffing and cherry pie,” she said. “I enjoy getting things on sale and look forward to getting things the family likes.”

Amber Sharps, who is going to visit her parents in Ellicott City, Md., for Thanksgiving, mentioned items on her shopping list.

“On a yearly basis I get stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole,” she said. “My sociology class is also doing Thanksgiving for the homeless people in The Salvation Army through HCC (Hagerstown Community College), so I got some extra stuff.”

A big dinner with all the trimmings is likely to end with dessert, so bakeries tend to see a spike in business prior to Thanksgiving.

Rick Cook, manager at Icing Bakery & Cafe in Boonsboro, said that by this week, the shop was beginning to prepare for pie orders and was gathering apples.

“We sell pies, apple dumplings and some cakes around this time,” he said. “There’s apple, cherry, pumpkin, pecan and chocolate pies.”

Cook said it can get frustrating working this time of year because of how busy the bakery gets, but it can also be fun.

“You’re moving away from the normal stuff and getting into other things,” he said. “You might get an order for something you don’t usually do.”

Alisha Hanlin, manager at Safron Bakery, said she expected business to grow hectic by the end of the week.

“I think people are waiting a little bit longer,” she said. “We’re starting to get calls about breads and pie. Everybody always wants rolls, apple pie and pumpkin pie.”

Save-A-Lot Grocery Store Manager Evangeline Neff said the store on Maryland Avenue was experiencing increased sales of seasonal items.

“We’re picking up a little bit in pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, ham and turkey, but there’s been no Thanksgiving rush,” she said. “We expect more on the weekend.”

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