A family-owned Hawke's Bay bakery's gingerbread house has helped win it the title of 2014 Bakery of the Year.
Heaven's Bakery includes three generations of bakers from the Heaven family, who took more than 50 hours to bake the gingerbread house.
The cake won gold last night in the gingerbread section and the bakery was placed in 10 other categories, leading to its overall victory.
Baking Industry Association of New Zealand president Michael Gray said 280 items were entered in the competition, held at the Fine Food New Zealand Expo in Auckland - a three-day food and hospitality event culminating today.
Baker Jason Heaven, 43, told Hawke's Bay Todaythe 2014 Bakery of the Year title had given his team "a huge boost".
"We have a great team in our business; a great family that backs us 100 per cent.
This is a huge achievement for us."
Mr Heaven said the family used 10kg of gingerbread and 2kg of icing to make the house. Its windows were made out of boiled sugar.
"The biggest challenge we faced was constructing it so it wouldn't collapse during the trip to Auckland," he said.
Items were judged largely on flavour and Heaven's Bakery's products were outstanding, Mr Gray said.
"They put a lot of time and effort in and it shows.
"They've been in business for 40 years and having all three generations it is really neat to see them win," he said.
Graeme Heaven, 67, recently sold the business to son Jason. The youngest member is 16-year-old Sam Heaven.
Jason said the family "lives and breathes" baking.
"Just like a rugby family who's right into rugby, we're right into baking," he said.
Heaven's Bakery will take home prizes including a 60-litre Delta mixer from Southern Hospitality, a tonne of flour from Farmers Mill and 10,000 pie bags from Wellpack.
Ten O'clock Cookie Bakery Cafe from Masterton scooped second place, with Melody's Bakery New World of Palmerston North coming third.NZ Herald