By Robert Lucke
Remember after Scrooge's conversion, it was said that he kept the season well? That could be said more and more about people making an ever larger holiday out of Halloween.
These days it is not uncommon to see all sorts of folks dressed in elaborate Halloween costumes at work, houses are decorated outside and inside with all manner of Halloween decorations and instead of candy and carameled apples for neighborhood trick or treat children, area bakeries are filled with a huge assortment of all manner of cookies, cakes, and cupcakes for that spooky night.
Anyway, that is what Diana Blythe, the manager of Albertson's Bakery, thinks.
She should know, she started in Havre as a Buttery's bakery employee some fifteen years ago.
"Halloween has really changed since I started working here," said Blythe. "We didn't used to do much at all except cupcakes, but now days we do a lot for this time of year."
Consider this. Spider cake, mummy cakes, pumpkin face cakes, cupcakes, loft house sugar cookies with orange icing, pumpkin face cookies, orange and black drizzles over many things, teacher trays and party trays of Halloween type cookies. All for this season and chances are if you come in on Halloween day to buy some, you will be greeted by a costumed goblin, ghost or witch to help with your selections.
Blythe got caught up in this business in a very unexpected way.
"I was a single mom in Lewistown and put in an application to work at the Lewistown Buttrey's store," related Blythe. Later I transferred to the Havre store because I wanted to go to school at Northern. My son got sick, so I had to quit college and went to work full time at Buttrey's bakery and I am still here."
Being a baker at Buttrey's was a perfect job for Blythe.
"The hours were perfect for a single mom. I came to work early and I was always home after school and evenings. It was perfect," continued Blythe.
There must be a downside for this job. Blythe said that definitely eating too many sweets and gaining a hundred pounds is not a problem for her.
"Sweets aren't a problem for me. Now, if I were working in the deli, that would be a problem. I love that deli food," said Blythe with a grin. "But there is a downside and that is look at my arms, they are full of burns. Bakers are always getting burned!"
Halloween is the first really large volume sales day of the fall season.
"You know when it is hot in the summer, people just don't eat many sweets," said Blythe. "But when it gets colder this time of year, they really start buying more and more sweets. And when those first snows hit, that is really good for the bakery business."
Best seller of all for Halloween are the trays and trays of Halloween cupcakes that go out to classrooms and offices alike this time of year.
And about those spider cakes. They look like spiders. They are a black frosted cake with black licorice legs that sell like hot cakes.
"If people bring a kid in looking for a birthday cake or something like that and the kid sees our spider cakes, they will go home with a spider cake," said Blythe with a grin. "We keep them in the shelf at a kid's eye level."