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Hy-Vee crowns top cake designer

Hy-Vee crowns top cake designer

Janine Schwendinger with her winning cakes. (Photo courtesy of Hy-Vee)
Janine Schwendinger with her winning cakes. (Photo courtesy of Hy-Vee)

named Janine Schwendinger of its Rochester, Minn., store the winner of its 2015 Cake Designer Challenge on Saturday.

Schwendinger also claimed the Designers’ Choice Award as voted by her fellow cake designers.

“This has been a goal of mine for years, so I’m very happy to have won. It really validates what I do every day and my abilities,” Schwendinger said in a press release. “Winning the Designers’ Choice Award meant a lot to me because it shows that my peers respect what I do, and that means the world to me. One of the best parts of coming to the finals is getting the chance to meet up with my fellow designers. It’s really a reunion for us as much as it is a competition.”

Now in its ninth year, the Hy-Vee Cake Designer Challenge started with more than 190 designers, who competed in six regional semifinal events. The top three participants in each of those events made it to the finals, which took place April 11 at the Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The finalists had four hours to decorate a three-tiered wedding cake and a specialty cake of their choosing. An expert panel of judges, including Food Network personality Joshua John Russell, scored the cakes based on technical appearance, icing appearance and level of difficulty.


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Second place went to Linda Schneider of Ankeny, Iowa, while Amy Murtha of Belton, Mo., took home third.

“The Hy-Vee Cake Designer Challenge Finals was a great opportunity to highlight the top 18 designers in our company and show the public the outstanding quality and truly unique creations offered in Hy-Vee stores,” said Ray Doughan, assistant VP of bakery operations. “Hy-Vee has more than 400 talented cake artists across the region who help create one-of-a-kind cakes and special memories for customers each day. Congratulations to all of the award winners and participants — all of whom we are proud to call part of our team.”

Prizes for the competition totaled $1,700 for first place, $750 for second place, $500 for third place and $500 for the Designers’ Choice Award.

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