Morinville — With the holiday season approaching, many local bakers will be breaking out their favourite recipes to whip up a batch of festive baking again this year. Sobeys Morinville are hoping bakers will bring their goodies to the grocery store in a few weeks for a chance to win $500 in gift certificate prizes to use on more baking supplies.
Sobeys franchise owner Stuart Trenchard had been toying with the idea of a baking contest for a couple of years before launching last year’s inaugural event. That offering drew 42 bakers with the fruits of their labour to the store. He is hoping for a similar result this year. The event will take place at the grocery store Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. until noon.
“I think this year we can build on the 42,” Trenchard said. “I think this year we can get to 50. We’ve narrowed down the score to squares, so I think that will help people focus on exactly what to make.” Nanaimo squares, Rice Crispy squares, date squares – whatever the baker’s favourite holiday square recipe is – it is welcome.
The original idea came about from all the recipe ideas Trenchard had heard up and down the aisles over the years. When customers came into the store looking for ingredients, they often tell staff about the recipe they are making. Trenchard wanted to have some way to highlight it in an event in town.
The grocer believes the food and family tradition, particularly around Christmas, is important because families get to slow down for a bit, something families usually do around food, whether it is a summer barbecue, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas feast. “It’s all about the feeling,” Trenchard said. “Every time they think of some great event with their family, there is always food related to it. If the food is related back to that fantastic feeling they have, I want the Morinville Sobeys to be part of that.”
Once again this year, Sobeys Morinville will offer gift certificates from the store so bakers and confectionary makers can create more mastrepieces at home. This year that prize will be divided into $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. “We want to reward the top three prize winners because of how close they always come at the end,” he said, adding last year’s contest was a tough decision for local judges. “We want to make sure everyone is being rewarded for their outstanding performance.”
Trenchard and his staff are hoping bakers will take some time to show off their family recipes. They are also hoping people will consider them the baking headquarters for all their holiday baking needs. “We want people to think of Sobeys first,” Trenchard said. “When you come in our store, you feel like you want to bake. You are going to smell our fresh bakery when you come in. We want to make sure everyone understands we’re going to have all the baking ingredients you need to make your festive favourites.”
There is no cost to enter the event and there are no age restrictions. More information on the Dec. 7 competition is available at the customer service department at Sobeys Morinville.
Above left: Sobeys Morinville franchisee Stuart Trenchard poses with some of the baking products his store sells. The store is holding a baking competition Dec. 7 this year – Morinville News Staff Photo