Bakery national runner-up
Kapiti Cakes and Bakery has been named the second-best bakery in New Zealand at the Baking Industry Association of New Zealand Awards.
The Coastlands-based bakery was placed second after earning four silver and six bronze awards at last week's awards ceremony.
Bakery owner Thomas Thomas said he was delighted with the second placing, having finish fourth last year.
"It's great. We were wanting to improve on last year and managed to do just that," he said.
Mr Thomas and his wife Mary had to take a large number of products to Auckland, where they put them together for judging on the Sunday.
Two of the more complex items were a decorative Big Ben cake and a large gingerbread windmill bakery.
The cake and windmill were taken up in three separate pieces and were combined at the event.
The windmill even had a working motor, which spun the turbine and powered lights inside the small gingerbread house.
Mrs Thomas said it took plenty of work to make the two items, with Mr Thomas spending about 60 hours preparing Big Ben.
"He did that all on his own. He made the structure of the gingerbread windmill and I did all the icing figures, like the tea cups and that sort of thing."
The gingerbread house category had to be a bakery of some kind, and the decorative cake had to have an Olympic theme.
"So we built Big Ben, with the Olympic rings holding it up," Mr Thomas said. "People were very impressed by what we'd done."
Kapiti Cakes and Bakery claimed second in the overall event, after winning silver in the creative, cupcakes, sacher torte and choux pastry sections.
Te Awamutu's Viands Bakery won the overall title, but Mr Thomas is aiming to be the top dog next year.
"That's the plan," he said.