Ava Haynes, a farm woman from North Carolina who took the centuries-old Moravian cookie tradition she learned from watching her mother cook on a wood stove and turned it into a family business that now makes millions of the delicate, crunchy treat Makes Moravian Cookies every year. She died on June 22 at her home in Clemons, NC, she was 90.
Her grandson Jedediah Haines Templin, who is president of the Moravian Sugar Crisp Company, known for Mrs. Haines’s handmade Moravian cookies, said the cause was complications from brain cancer.
Moravians were pre-Reformation Eastern European Protestants who sought refuge from persecution in Germany. Before the American Revolutionary War, some left for Pennsylvania, taking with them the recipe for a spice-heavy ginger cookie called Lebkuchen.
They kept moving, and in the mid-1700s a religious community began on a large tract of land in North Carolina that became the city of Winston-Salem. Southern food scholar John Egerton wrote that the North Carolina Moravians, like the Pennsylvania Dutch—whom he called “their religious and gastronomical relatives”—have maintained a strong baking tradition that dates back hundreds of years.
North Carolina cookbook author Debbie Moose, who wrote about Mrs. Haines and other Moravian cookie bakers, recalled a time when you could only find the cookie in the Winston-Salem area.
“It’s very unique,” she said in an interview. “You didn’t even see it in other parts of the state.”
Mrs. Haines, the youngest of seven, grew up watching her mother, Bertha Foltz, make and sell hundreds of thin cookies to supplement the little money that came from the family’s small dairy farm. Other Moravian women followed suit, selling cookies. The recipe with molasses and warm winter spices such as clove and ginger was popular around Christmas.
Mrs. Foltz begins baking a crisp vanilla-scented version as a way to differentiate herself and extend the sales season. By 8 o’clock, Eva could cook them herself. By age 20, she had taken over her mother’s business and slowly began expanding it, selling the original Chinese crisp as well as the traditional ginger version, but eventually other flavors such as lemon and black walnut. was also selling.
By 2010, cookies had become so popular that Oprah Winfrey included them in her list of favorite things. He wrote in his journal, “It wouldn’t be Christmas if Quincy Jones didn’t send me Mrs. Haines cookies.”
The cookies are still rolled, cut and packaged by hand, with about 10 million cookies per year sold to locals – who come to the company’s small factory, next to the family home, to pick up some tins. Revolve to – as well as a strong list of national and international clients.
Mrs. Haines recently said, “If someone was baking, I could make 100 pounds of cookies in eight hours, and I wouldn’t stop for anything.” oral history Manufactured by Southern Foodways Alliance. “I consider myself a timing-and-pace expert, because I didn’t take any steps that weren’t necessary.”
Eva Caroline Foltz was born on November 7, 1932, in Clemons, a suburb of Winston-Salem, Pennsylvania to Alva and Bertha (Crouch) Foltz, descendants of Moravian colonists. A shy, irritable redhead, with a strong work ethic and natural athleticism, Ava was a high school basketball star who was recruited for a job inspecting nylons at the Hanes hosiery mill (no relation) so that she could become the company’s head coach. Played on the basketball team. ,
“I’m still very good at basketball,” she wrote in a 2017 holiday letter to clients. He wrote letters every year until 2022, when he completed his autobiography, “What More Could I Ask For”, which he self-published this year.
In 1998, she self-published a 600-recipe cookbook, “Suppers at Six and We’re Not Waiting”, based on recipes she used to cook for the large dinners she cooked almost weekly.
The family cookie business was still a small kitchen enterprise when she married Travis Haines, a gum and candy company salesman, on June 13, 1952. The two met in eighth grade, and he was her only boyfriend ever.
“I knew she was looking for a husband,” Mr Haines said in a 2019 video for Our State magazine. “I didn’t know she was looking for a prospective employee. He got both.
Together they grew the business, appearing at trade shows, state fairs and anywhere else they thought they could find customers. By 1970, the business had grown so large that they built a bakery next door to the family home.
Mrs. Haines said in the oral history, “We’re tired of waking up to the aroma of cookies every morning.” They’ve added to it seven times since then, relying on a longtime baking crew of mostly women who learned the craft at the hands of a master.
In addition to her grandson Jedediah, Mrs. Hance is survived by her husband; their four children, Ramona Haines Templin, Carolyn Haines Fordham, and Michael and Jonathan Haines; six other grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Haines was active in the 250 year old Friedberg Moravian Church. It is on the same street where his great-grandfather had built a house in 1842 – where he was born and where he died. All his children and grandchildren live nearby. Many work or have worked for the family business, furthering the philosophy that Mrs. Haines often reiterates:
“We made all we could make and sold all we could make and every year we made some more.”