"Customers have been saying, 'I'm not surprised,'" said Shannon Sylvester, Pillsbury Grand Champion of the 5th Annual Creative Decorating Competition held during RBA's Marketplace in Chicago. To commemorate her win, Pillsbury and Rick's Bakery, where Sylvester is a decorator, hosted a reception for customers to meet the winner, sample some cake and have their pictures taken with the Pillsbury Doughboy.
Chip Levers, territory manager for General Mills, presented Sylvester and Owners Rick and Sharon Boone plaques congratulating them on the win. "The Boones coordinated the reception and General Mills and the Doughboy are here to show our support for the industry," Levers said.
As Pillsbury Grand Champion, Sylvester will judge next year's competition during American Bakery Expo in Atlantic City, Oct. 21-23. To prepare for this year's contest, Sylvester simply pulled designs from the bakery's cake orders. "That's the level of decorating we do here everyday," Sylvester said. "That's the level of decorating northwest Arkansas expects."
Sylvester credits some of her success to the fact that a fellow Rick's Bakery decorator competed last year. She went to the show and watched her co-worker compete, so she knew what to expect. "I just did it like Sharon was standing over my shoulder," Sylvester said.