The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association has named three finalists who will compete on-site in IDDBA's 12th Annual Cake Decorating Challenge at its Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar and Expo '07 in Anaheim, Calif., June 3-5.
The finalists are Sunnie Guraedy, representing Arrowhead Miracle Mart, Minot, N.D., a unit of a Bemidji, Minn.-based independent operating stores under Miracle Mart and Marketplace Food and Drug banners; Danny Lane, of Harp's Marketplace, Fort Smith, Ark., a unit of Harp's Food Stores, Springdale, Ark.; and Ben Raffle, Fry's & Fry's Marketplace in Phoenix, units of Fry's, a Phoenix-based division of Kroger, Cincinnati.
Guraedy, who is bakery manager as well as head decorator at her store, has been decorating cakes for 20 years, most of that time at supermarkets. She's recently won regional and national cake-decorating contests.
Lane, too, has been decorating cakes for 20 years. He found his love for cake decorating almost by accident. In order to move up from doughnut fryer to baker and then to department manager, Lane was required to learn how to decorate cakes. With Harp's for eight years now, he regularly participates in bridal shows, displaying his cakes as he represents Harp's.
Raffle, an art major in college, started his career as a graphic artist, but later joined Fry's, where he became a baker. Having been with Fry's for eight years, he now focuses almost entirely on cake decorating.
The three finalists were chosen this year from 74 entrants, representing 27 supermarket chains across the country. They will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Anaheim, where they will compete in a three-day challenge in IDDBA's Show & Sell Merchandising Center on the show floor.
Three separate phases in the three-day challenge include decorating a wedding cake and decorating enough cakes to fill an eight-foot tiered showcase, and then merchandising them in that case. On the third day, the finalists decorate three cakes: a special-occasion cake of their choosing, a themed/event cake and one that illustrates the decorator's interpretation of IDDBA's Dairy-Deli-Bake show theme. This year the theme is “Backstage Pass.”
Last year's winner at IDDBA's Cake Decorating Challenge in Orlando was Melissa Caville, Giant Eagle Markets, Pittsburgh.