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Regina bakeries featured in baking competition on national TV this fall

Jared Bugyi, owner of Queen City Cakes, is pictured on the set of 'The Big Bake: Halloween' with his teammates Annissa Cheyne (left) and Megan Degelman (right). Photo courtesy of Food Network Canada

Baking on a TV program was part of Jared Bugyi’s five-year plan when he started Queen City Cakes located in downtown Regina.

However, he accomplished that goal just three years into his plan.

The local cake shop owner was among the competitors in Season 2 of Food Network Canada‘s The Big Bake: Halloween show.

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The show challenges teams of three bakers to create big, bold cakes with a Halloween twist. The winner with the most ambitious and delicious cake goes home with a $10,000 prize.

It was an intense and cool experience for Bugyi who said filming took place during the peak of COVID-19.

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“I was stressed,” laughed Bugyi. “It went by in the blink of an eye. It was so fast-paced. You go in there thinking you’re going to kill it, and then your mind goes blank when it’s go-time. You hope for the best.”

Bugyi is pictured in action during filming of ‘The Big Bake: Halloween’.
Bugyi is pictured in action during filming of ‘The Big Bake: Halloween’. Photo courtesy of Food Network Canada

Bugyi was joined on the team by Megan Degelman, who worked for Queen City Cakes at the time before moving away, and Annissa Cheyne, owner of Sweet Wheat Bakeshop.

“We had a tight deadline that was last minute when I reached out to Annissa, but she messaged me before about other things. As for Megan, she had worked here at the shop, which is how it all came together,” he explained.

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Bugyi said he did have a few takeaways from the competition, noting that he and his teammates were able to come together, execute and do their very best.

He added that the experience showed him that he’s ready for his own Queen City Cakes baking show.

“It’s still not my own show. I’m waiting for that,” Bugyi admitted. “We’re a crazy, fun team. I think it would be a good time.”

He didn’t want to give away too many details, but he said viewers can expect to see the “crazy, animated people we are” and that people will be entertained when they tune in.

Viewers will be getting a double dose of Regina sweetness this season as Queen City Cakes is not the only local bakery hoping to win the show’s grand prize.

Sinfully Sweet, a bakery operating in the Cathedral neighbourhood for about the last six years, is also taking part in the bake off this fall.

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Representing Sinfully Sweet on the show are owners Eryn Smith and Natasha Salter, along with baker and production assistant Joyce White who sometimes goes by the name “Mama Joyce.”

Smith said the process of getting on the program started with the show’s producers reaching out to them about being participants. The timeline included applications, interviews and sketching among other tasks.

However, both Salter and Smith called it an amazing experience.

“We were very fortunate to be a part of it. We’d do it again in a heartbeat, but there was a lot of pressure,” recalled Salter and Smith. “It was both the longest and shortest five hours of our lives, but we’d definitely do it again.”

They shared how the episode challenged the trio on a number of levels including time management and creativity.

“There were some really creative cakes that came out of this competition. A lot of creativity, imagination and definitely a rollercoaster of emotions,” mentioned Salter. “It will be interesting to see how it all comes out when it airs.”

The Sinfully Sweet trio appearing in the upcoming season of ‘The Big Bake: Halloween’. From left to right: Natasha Salter, Eryn Smith, Joyce White. Photo courtesy of Food Network Canada

With two Regina bakeries being selected for this fall’s The Big Bake: Halloween, it’s a testament to the talent and sheer brilliance of Regina’s bakeries.

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Smith and Salter said it’s something they have noticed since they started their business.

“To have two teams from Regina in the same season, I mean, it kind of puts us on the map,” Smith suggested.

“This has been like a dream for us since we started decorating cakes and it actually came true. To be there so soon is amazing and we’re honoured.”

Sinfully Sweet will feature on the Oct. 4 episode, while Queen City Cakes will appear on the season debut on Sept. 27.

The Halloween-themed episodes will air Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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