The Baker’s Rhapsody to host gingerbread house contest

Published 12:28 pm Friday, October 22, 2021

DOWAGIAC – Last year, a local bakery created a gingerbread house replica of downtown. This year, they want to see the tasty creations the community has to offer.

As part of the 2021 Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce Christmas Open House, The Baker’s Rhapsody, 144 S. Front Street, will host its first public gingerbread house competition, and will display entries in the bakery for all to see.

“We don’t often do things like this where we have a lot of participation from the community,” said Baker’s Rhapsody owner Jordan Anderson. “We do a lot of things for the community, but as far as getting to see what they come up with creativity goes will be a lot of fun. We’re pretty excited about that.”

In 2020, The Baker’s Rhapsody crafted a to-scale gingerbread model of downtown Front Street buildings using icing to highlight building façade features like business names and windows. The project captured the attention of the community.

“People were asking a bunch what we were going to do gingerbread this year,” said Anderson, who runs the bakery with his husband, Hector Rivas. “So, we decided that we’ll see what you guys have to offer.”

Anderson said contestants will have ‘full-rein creativity,” and are welcome to design any build any gingerbread structure or scene provided it fits within the box provided by the bakery upon registration, which began Oct. 21.

Contestants can stop by The Baker’s Rhapsody to register and pick up the information packet for the competition. Finished entry drop-off begins Nov. 9, and will not be accepted prior to that date. The deadline for drop-off is 2 p.m. Nov. 11.

Entries will be displayed in the store Nov.. 12 to 13, with winners being decided by a chamber panel to be determined later. The top three entries will receive gift cards good for use at any chamber member location. The top prize is $100, with $50 for second place and $25 for third place. 

Winners will be displayed in the bakery through thanksgiving, according
to Anderson.

“We’re really excited,” he said. “I think it will be a lot of fun to see what
everybody does.”

The Baker’s Rhapsody is also one of the corporate sponsors for the Chamber’s Christmas Open House Weekend, a multi-event holiday celebration that also includes Small Business Saturday, a 100-unit Candle-light Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 3, a Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 11 and much more.

“We are thrilled The Baker’s Rhapsody agreed to host the contest, which is new to our line-up of activities for Christmas Open House Weekend,” said Vickie Phillipson, DDA and Chamber of Commerce program director and Open House chairman.  “It has always been my dream to hold the contest, and who better suited than Jordan
and Hector.”

This year’s underwriters also include Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital, the Business Center of Southwest Michigan, Cass County Council on Aging, Deck the Halls, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Dowagiac Credit Union, Dowagiac Family Dentistry, Imperial Furniture, John Vylonis, Matthew V. Cripe DDS, Starks Family Funeral Homes, Clark Chapel, Southwest Vision Center and The Timbers of Cass County.

More information on the Christmas Open House Weekend will be provided by the Chamber of Commerce in the coming weeks.