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Cabarrus Magazine

Concord's Chocolatier Barrucand Hosts Author Ann Tarpley Francesco, Creates The Gingerbread Train Replica

Dec 21, 2017 04:17PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
Ann Tarpley Francesco, author of The Gingerbread Train - Santa's Secret Gift, hosted a special book signing inside the Chocolatier Barrucand on Thursday, December 14.

At this event, there was an impressive train replica on display made by the talented Chocolatier Barrucand in Historic Downtown Concord. Pastry Chefs Jean Luc and Ann Marie Barrucand loved making The Gingerbread Train replica for Ann's book tour so much that they were inspired to create another one for their storefront window. There were also train cookies and books for purchase. 

Author Ann Tarpley Francesco and her Editor, Sherre' L. DeMao, took some time to answer a few questions for us about the fun and delectable event. Take a look! 

Tell us a little bit about the recent Book Signing event. Was the community welcoming?

ANN: Before I had a chance to set up my book signing table at the Chocolatier Barrucand, two of my friends entered the door with giant smiles on their faces, ready to buy a gift set. I was flattered that they were there before the official start of the book signing. Shortly after they arrived, a grandmother approached my table eager to purchase two gift sets for her grandchildren. Personalizing the books is very meaningful, knowing that numerous children from different states and countries will be enjoying "The Gingerbread Train, Santa's Secret Gift" over Christmas, and perhaps, will want to make it a new holiday tradition. It was an ideal venue in downtown Concord!  As soon as people entered the Chocolatier, they were surrounded by wonderful aromas of chocolate, pastries, and of course, gingerbread. It was also a feast for the eyes with the beautiful French pastries, decorated sugar cookies, and gingerbread sleighs, houses, and my favorite - train cookies made from the cookie cutter that is in The Gingerbread Train Baking Gift Set. It was a perfect backdrop for my book and gift set! It was a festive evening for all who attended.

How many people attended?

ANNPeople were standing outside the door when it first started, and fortunately were able to get a view of the replica of the Gingerbread Train the Barrucand's created in their store window. There was a steady flow of people in the beginning ranging from children to grandparents. It slowly tapered off as the evening progressed. 

Was there a favorite moment you had?

ANN: One moment stands out in particular as a group of young school age children stood by my table looking in awe of "The Gingerbread Train" book. Their eyes widened with excitement as they saw pictures of the gingerbread train adorned with all types of candy, and could not wait to find out what happens at the end of the story. They were also eager to use the custom made train cookie cutter to make gingerbread train cookies that coordinate with the book.
SHERRE': One little girl was especially excited about getting to bake her own gingerbread train! When it was pointed out that the gift set included the cookie cutter, she proclaimed: "That is so cool!"

Will there be anything else happening in the area?

ANN: There will be one more book signing before Christmas in Albemarle, North Carolina. Albemarle Nutrition will be hosting the event which coincides with their annual Christmas party. They will be making a gluten-free version of my BRAVO Gingerbread cookie recipe to offer to customers. Other gifts will be offered to those who purchase "The Gingerbread Train, Santa's Secret Gift" book or gift set. Since I am an advocate of healthy living and nutrition, this will be an excellent venue for another book signing.

Anything else we should know?

ANN: It was exciting at my first book event in October to learn that baking gift sets were going to children in the United Kingdom and Africa. We can already claim The Gingerbread Train is global.
SHERRE': The Gingerbread Train - Santa's Secret Gift is the first in a series of children's books and baking gift sets featuring the character's Matthew and Courtney, and author, Ann Tarpley Francesco's personal recipes. She is currently working on the manuscript for an Easter themed book and baking gift set, which will probably be released in 2019. The Gingerbread Train will make stops at all popular holidays for a collectible series of stories. Each baking gift set will feature a cookie cutter of a different part of a  train.
We are also proud of the fact that everything is Made-in-the-USA, something that was important. We found a fabulous specialty U.S. manufacturer of cookie cutters who developed the mold based on the illustrated Gingerbread Train.
Books and Gift Sets can be purchased online at

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