Annual Easter Egg Factory hopping at Gibson United Methodist Church

Published 10:45 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The annual Easter Egg Factory at Gibson United Methodist has been at work crafting chocolate-covered candy eggs since 1981, becoming a generational tradition in many families. The decorated eggs are often placed into Easter baskets for a special touch, added to dessert buffets and given as gifts.

Mary Agnes Westbrook, the unofficial chief executive officer of the Factory, said there is a strict process for producing the annual treats.

“Each egg weighs four ounces, is dipped in milk chocolate and decorated with leaves and a flower,” she said.

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The eggs come in nine flavors: peanut butter, peanut butter Butterfinger, vanilla, chocolate, maple nut, almond, almond coconut and raspberry. Each egg is dipped in milk chocolate, although a very limited number of white chocolate eggs are available.

Church volunteers, many of whom have been a part of the egg-making effort for decades, gather to mix, measure and mold the eggs. Each egg is meticulously weighed and shaped by hand, with a few of the volunteers joking that the goal is to have something resembling an egg, not a potato.

The church makes around 1,500 eggs each year. Tables, set up temporarily in the church sanctuary, are labeled by flavor and eggs are placed in rows of ten to ensure an accurate count.

As she set the eggs out in rows, church member Alice Rolman said seeing it all play out year in and year out is quite a sight.

“This is a small church, and for us to do this, it’s pretty incredible,” she said. “There’s enough variety of flavor that there’s something for everybody.”

When asked if there was a “secret recipe,” for the eggs, Westbrook smiled and said “yes, and it’s in the (church kitchen) on the counter and refrigerator. We started out with four flavors. Now we’ve got nine flavors. The newer flavors we had to develop on our own.”

The newest flavors, raspberry and chocolate, took some trial and error to achieve the perfect confection.

Peanut butter is overwhelmingly the favorite, church members said. The Egg Factory makes more peanut butter than any other flavor, with the smallest portions going to the raspberry and chocolate flavors. Volunteer Jimmy Barbar said the eggs freeze well, and can be saved for future enjoyment. He noted he recently retrieved one from the freezer.

“I haven’t finished it yet . You have to let them thaw out.”

Fellow volunteer Margot Martin chimed in with “just don’t eat the whole thing at one time!” Barbar replied, “you eat the whole thing at one time, you got a sugar rush.”

Volunteers agree the eggs are best consumed in small slices.

Eggs may be purchased for $3 each and can be personalized free of charge. All proceeds from the sale go to missions.

“We’ve given some to flood buckets and gave some to health kits. Some of this money always goes to the Angel Trees at Good Shepherd,” Westbrook said.

Candy eggs may be ordered by calling 601-636-2604 or 601-415-4428. They can also be ordered by email at Egg orders should be picked up at the church by Good Friday.