October 19,2021, the Wachovia Historical Society was pleased to present the 2021 Archie K. Davis Award to Evva and Travis Hanes, the well-known proprietors of Mrs. Hanes’ Cookies. Here is the text of the award presentation, which was delivered by Mo and Martha Hartley, winners of the 2011 Archie K. Davis Award.
It is a great honor to introduce this year’s Archie K. Davis Award for contributions to the knowledge and appreciation of Moravian history. Let’s begin…
Herrnhut has the Moravian Star Factory, and we have Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies – what great evangelism! The hands behind “Mrs. Hanes’ Hand-Made Moravian Cookies” are the founders, Evva and Travis Hanes. For over 60 years, this power couple has made a significant contribution to the knowledge and appreciation of Moravian history through the deep sensory experience of their hand-made Moravian cookies. Mrs. Hanes’ Cookies are “Moravian ambassadors” like no other, sending Moravian history across the globe by the paper-thin millions. Evva and Travis’ lifetime has been devoted to building an important and successful local business, with broad outreach, based on Moravian history and tradition. Evva and Travis Hanes are deeply rooted in Wachovia through their Moravian ancestry and are active members of Friedberg Moravian Church. Both descend from Adam and Maria Spach, founders of Friedberg. The “cookie factory” is located on Evva’s family farmland along Friedberg Church Road, just south of the Adam Spach Rock House site, the significant property of the Wachovia Historical Society. Mrs. Hanes’ Cookies is a family business that grew out of Evva’s mother’s Christmas time enterprise of supplementing income from their small dairy farm with Moravian cookies. Her mother, Bertha Crouch Foltz, baked old family-recipe Moravian cookies with Evva by her side. In 1960, Evva took over all the baking when her mother’s health failed. The business grew by word of mouth, and the first bakery building was constructed in 1970.
Travis and Evva have overseen seven expansions, and the cookie factory is now more than 30,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, and office space. A large parking area for customers is outside. Annual production at Mrs. Hanes’ Cookies is approximately 10 million cookies, each carrying the Moravian story. Sales include 90,000 customers: retail at the cookie factory and mail-order to all 50 states and 30 countries abroad. The cookie factory bakes year-round, and Mrs. Hanes’ Cookies are the only Moravian cookies to be completely produced by hand. The retail area of the cookie factory includes photographs, newspaper & magazine stories, various artifacts, and items of interest. Travis Hanes’ signature walking sticks are hand-crafted works of art. The retail area also features the production process. Large plate glass walls line the room and provide viewing for each step of cookie making. The production process is mesmerizing as the “Artists in Aprons” deftly rollout the dough into paper-thinness on their custom-built angled rolling boards. In flashing speed, they cut the dough with tin cookie cutters and lay each cookie precisely on to cookie sheets. The cookie sheets go into large ovens at the back of the room, and the pans emerge with perfectly baked Moravian cookies. They cool and are then packed into tins and tubes, all by careful hands.
Mrs. Hanes’ Cookie Factory is a significant employer of women in the Forsyth/Davidson county area. Evva is a seventh-generation Moravian cookie maker and has trained all to the art of the Moravian cookie tradition. Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookie Factory is also a unique tourist destination for locals, visitors, and travel & food writers. Visits are so popular that scheduled tours are available to school groups and community organizations. In the Moravian tradition, Mrs. Hanes’ Hand-Made Moravian Cookies is a family business built on excellence of quality and customer service. Evva and Travis’s children, Mona Hanes Templin and Mike Hanes, have followed their parents in the management of Mrs. Hanes’ Cookies, with the next generation coming along.
Evva and Travis continue to live in their home up the hill from the cookie factory and provide the support and wisdom of their experience. They also regularly host family and friends for home cooked meals. As a matter of fact, the 2019 NC General Assembly passed legislation making the Moravian Cookie the State Cookie of North Carolina! In part, the bill said, “it is fitting to recognize the positive impact the Moravians have had on the state’s culture,” and also cited the heritage of the Moravian community and the cookies, as well as the economic and tourism impact of Moravian cookie sales in the Winston-Salem area since the 1950s.
Like Mr. Archie K. Davis, Evva and Travis Hanes’ “contribution and devotion to the history of our region, state, and nation has enriched the appreciation of our heritage” through their lifetime devotion to Moravian culinary history and tradition.
And now the Wachovia Historical Society honors Evva and Travis Hanes with this year’s Archie K. Davis Award. Congratulations!
By Mo and Martha Hartley, October 19, 2021