Karen Thomson from A Taste of Elegance in Beavercreek, Ohio, placed third in the Retail Baker’s Association 7th Annual Creative Decorating Contest sponsored by the Pillsbury Institute.


A Taste of Elegance’s store in Beavercreek near
the intersection of North Fairfield and Dayton-Xenia
Road. Photo © Craig Barhorst.

Theresa Torrealba from The Great Dane Bakery in Huntington, Calif., was named as the 2007 Pillsbury Grand Champion. Theresa was representing the California Retail Bakers Association in the competition. Also placing as Grand Champion winners were Patricia Mateyka from Kalupa’s Bakery in Tampa, Fla., representing the Deep South Affiliate who took second place and Karen Thomson from A Taste of Elegance in Beavercreek, Ohio, representing the Ohio Bakers Association who placed third.


“All of this year’s competitors are truly talented decorators,” noted Susan Nicolais, CAE, Executive Vice President of RBA. “The dedication to their work was evident by the quality of their designs and creations.”


The intense two-day competition was held during the 2007 American Retail Bakery Exposition, September 9 – 11, in Las Vegas and featured talented professional cake decorators from around the country. The contestants competed in six categories ; flowers & sprays with borders, wedding cake, rolled fondant, custom design cake, sculpted cake, and creative decorating free style.


The highest scoring individual is determined by a panel of professional baking judges. All judges have the Certified Decorator designation. The judges evaluate the contestant’s total product in each category and assign points using a criterion of well defined standards.


In addition to selecting the Pillsbury Grand Champion, winners in each individual category were announced. The first place winners in each category include:

Wedding Cake
Theresa Torrealba
The Great Dane Bakery; Santa Ana, CA
California Retail Bakers Association


Rolled Fondant
Charlotte Swango
Servatti Pastry Shop; Cincinnati, OH
Greater Cincinnati Retail Bakers Association


Custom Design Cake
Karen Thomson
A Taste of Elegance; Beavercreek, OH
Ohio Bakers Association


Flowers & Sprays with Borders
Theresa Torrealba
The Great Dane Bakery; Santa Ana, CA
California Retail Bakers Association


Sculpted Cake
Charlotte Swango
Servatii Pastry Shop; Cincinnati, OH
Greater Cincinnati Retail Bakers Association


Creative Decorating Free Style
Patricia Mateyka
Kalupa’s Bakery; Tampa, FL
Deep South Retail Bakers Association

The Retail Bakers of America (RBA) is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit trade association located in McLean, Virginia with membership of approximately 1,300 retail bakeries, allied suppliers, educators, students and other industry partners, is committed to the success of the retail baking industry. Founded in 1918, RBA works as the bakers’ business partner and resource provider, and is the nation’s premier source of industry information. More information is available at www.rbanet.com.