Shiny black books. A jolly red suit. A hat trimmed in snow-white fur.
These random accessories all bring to mind one very specific person.
However, when you add some green fur and beady yellow eyes, you are suddenly staring at someone very different — the mean one himself — the Grinch.
On Wednesday, many families in Madison County spotted the familiar face of the Grinch as he made his way throughout the county.
On vacation from Mt. Crumpit in Whoville, the Grinch has recently taken up residence at The Side Porch Cafe and Bakery in Waco for the next few weeks.
Thankfully, the Grinch is not the same one who wishes to steal Christmas. In fact, this Grinch has an entirely different objective — to bring holiday fun, with a side of sweets, to the families of Madison County and the surrounding area.
“This is what I was born to do,” LeeAnn Cole, front line worker at The Side Porch Cafe and Bakery and the person behind the Grinch mask, said on Wednesday.
Cole said the Grinch is one of her favorite Christmas movie characters and she and her family watch the movie every year on Black Friday.
“She takes it very seriously,” Brooke Rose, head baker and daughter of Side Porch owners Tyler Blevins and Rhonda Blevins, said of Cole's love for "the king of sinful sots."
Inspired by Cole's fascination with the Grinch, the bakery started "The Grinch Event" last year which featured an appearance by the neon green character and Grinch-inspired sweets created by the bakery.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the bakery decided to expand their Grinch event this year to include deliveries by the former Whoville-menace himself.
For the next two weeks, the Grinch will be delivering freshly-made food from the bakery across Madison County. The Grinch event will also feature three pop-up spots where families can have a chance for a photo op as well as trying the cafe’s food.
The event, which was performed on a much smaller scale last year, has grown immensely in popularity this year.
“Honestly, I don’t know what we were expecting,” Rose explained. “It is a lot crazier than what we thought it would be.”
After posting the idea for deliveries on the bakery's Facebook page, within a day and a half, the business had to stop taking delivery orders because they were completely booked up.
“Every single day for the next two weeks is booked up,” Rose said. “Someone will be either in Waco, Irvine, Richmond or Berea. Probably from nine in the morning to seven at night… It’s going to be a little crazy.”
Rose explained, for these deliveries, the bakery allowed the entire menu to be ordered, so she expects her kitchen will be very busy for the next few weeks.
However, if someone missed their chance to be on the delivery list they will have three more chances to meet with the Grinch.
On Dec. 15, the Grinch can be found at Wildflowers Boutique, located at 412 Chestnut Street in Berea, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Next, the Grinch will be stopping by The Side Porch Cafe and Bakery, which is located at 225 Waco Loop in Waco on Dec. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Finally, the Grinch will be at Rockin’ Robyns Consignment & Boutique, located at 451 BigHill Avenue in Richmond on Dec. 21 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“They (Rockin’ Robyns Consignment & Boutique and Wildflowers Boutique) are both small businesses owned by women… Go women,” Cole said of joining forces with the boutiques.
Rose explained they want to help keep people from creating too big of a crowd, because of COVID-19 and so they’ve chosen places they believe they can keep their customers safe. She said they will be featuring cookie boxes and cocoa bombs at these pop-up events. However, when the Grinch is at The Side Porch Cafe and Bakery, customers will be able to visit with him on the side porch outside. They will then be able to go inside of the cafe, at safe numbers, and purchase whatever foods the cafe has for sale at the time.
Despite the craziness of this year, those at The Side Porch Cafe and Bakery, hope the "reformed" Grinch might be able to bring a little holiday cheer to those of Madison County.
Perhaps, even growing hearts three sizes on those days.