Recently we had the privilege of touring the Assumption Abbey Bakery in the beautiful foothills of the Missouri Ozarks. Assumption Abbey is a Trappist Monastery which is home to the world famous Assumption Abbey Fruitcakes. Not a commercial enterprise, but a way of life which is maintained through the production and sale of fruitcakes made in their bakery.
As we made our way through the beautiful Ozarks we anticipated the quiet contemplation that was ahead for us. We were there to learn a process that many do not understand or employ in our fast paced world today. Creating a product from the heart of hard work and worship is the foundation the Abbey Monks build their business on. The quiet solitude of the Abbey, nestled in the beautiful mountainside made it hard to believe that just down the road almost 27,000 fruitcakes per year were being mass produced in this haven.
On arrival, not a soul in sight, we grabbed our bags and made our way to our rooms to settle in for the evening and get ready for meeting with the Bakery Manager the next day.
Assumption Abbey was founded in 1950 and is home to the Trappist Monks living a life with is focused on solitariness, silence as well as community, contemplation, and joy. The first ten years the monks tried farming, orchards, and vineyards for financial support. The addition of making concrete blocks while using sand and gravel from their lands helped to support their needs as well as construct their permanent home. As the 80’s approached they began working in a new industry…a fruitcake bakery.
We were blessed to be able to tour this bakery and were amazed at what they call their “monastic rhythm” and how it has become their lifestyle and means of financial support. We learned how to create balance and peace while providing an excellent product for people to enjoy with a means to support ministry without the pressure to have more than we need.