1812 Turns 40
Join us in celebrating 40 years of small batch gourmet products!
Deanna Matthews started Matthews 1812 House in 1979 from the kitchen of her farmhouse built in 1812, while raising two young daughters.
40 years later we are still family owned and operated, and still making each product with care. We are thankful for 40 years of supportive, loyal customers, and are happy to share a bit about our journey below.
Follow us on instagram as we celebrate throughout the year, and share some of your 1812 House memories- #1812turns40!
Matthews 1812 House began with two fruitcake recipes adapted from Deanna's grandmother. The Brandied Apricot Cake and Heirloom Fruit & Nut Cake continue to be strong sellers today. From the beginning, these cakes were made with all natural ingredients, no citron, and no corn syrup.
Original fruitcakes as show in catalogs from the 1980s.
“Have been ordering this fruitcake for over 30 years. It is simply FABULOUS. I always have one in the freezer for when I just had to slice off a piece and have a treat. I give it 100 stars! As long as Matthews 1812 makes this cake, I'll be buying it." – C, NC
in 1982 Deanna appeared on Good Morning America with Joan Lunden. She spoke about starting a business from her home.
(You can see a video clip here.)
"For the small town shopper, ordering by mail opens the door to a variety of choices that would not be available otherwise. What’s more, mail-order offers everyone a chance to buy one-of-a-kind items made and sold in out-of-the-way spots. So it isn’t necessary to travel to Cornwall Bridge, Conn., to enjoy the most and deliciously spirited lemon rum cakes made there by Matthews 1812 House.”
-Marian Burros, The New York Times, November 1983
“…Blaine joked about naming Baby Cynthia “Fruitcake”. During the month before she was born Deanna baked almost 1,000 pounds of Fruit and Nut Cake and Brandied Apricot Cake for her then-new business.”
– New Woman, Oct 1981
“Cornwall Kitchen to bake 4 tons of Cake”
– Waterbury Republican, Dec 1983
The Matthews family in the farmhouse kitchen in 1986.
In 1989 Matthews 1812 House celebrated it's 10 year anniversary. The Lemon Rum Sunshine Cake had expanded the company beyond just the holiday season.
Lemon Rum Sunshine Cake "…redolent of rum, moist and sweetly sharp, deserves its name: sunshine cake." -Marian Burros, The New York Times
Big Move! In 1990 the business moved out of the 1812 farmhouse to a newly built facility just over a mile down the road, where we continue to operate today.
The Matthews Family in the new facility in 1997.
In 2000 the first cookies were added to the product assortment – a series of hand stamped shortbread flavors that are still best sellers today.
By our 30th anniversary in 2009, a variety of cookies had become a big part of the business, including Marzipan, Fruit Filled, and Almond Roll Ups
In 2015 our gluten-free Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies won Product of the Year from the Connecticut Specialty Food Association.
In 2015 Blaine and Deanna retired, handing the business to their youngest daughter, Cynthia. The business moved into it's second generation.
In 2017 we added the Bourbon Fig Cake with cranberries and walnuts to our original line of fruitcakes.
Three generations of Matthews celebrate 40 years in the original farmhouse kitchen with delicious almond and raspberry cake!
These ladies love a reason to eat cake!
"The best desserts and the best customer service, from a long time customer." - A., CT
2019 marks 40 years since those first cakes came out of the farmhouse oven.
We’re thrilled to be celebrating our Ruby anniversary, still family owned and operated, still focused on the highest quality and care. We look forward to the next part of our journey!