An Eltham cake maker has being recognised as having the best business in the wedding industry.
Annette Dudley from A Love of Cakes — By Annette is stunned to be named the overall winner of the Taranaki Wedding Industry Awards and winner of the wedding cake category.
"It was pretty exciting to win the award and the fact I won overall was mind-blowing — I was speechless. I never expected to win the whole thing."
Annette has been making cakes for 13 years and but started up the business 12 years a go after not being able to find somebody local to make her wedding cake.
After a few night courses and a keen interest, Annette decided to build a kitchen studio at her rural Eltham property, installing a kitchen her mother-in-law was pulling out of her house. The studio has two ovens which Annette pulls dozens of cakes from every year.
Annette was nominated by brides and grooms for the award and the result also included a public vote.
Although she also makes cakes for a variety of special occasions, Annette enjoys creating wedding cakes the most.
"I think it's just the way they look .. I also like doing creative 3D cakes and have even done a cow standing on one leg."
"I have always been creative and I used to love icing mum's Christmas cake when I was a kid. I probably like the decorating more than the baking."
Annette says says wedding cake trends change and currently people seemed to like more rustic-themed cakes. More couples were tying the knot in halls, converted sheds and sports clubs instead of marquees and hotels. She says chocolate was a favourite flavour, and that the traditional fruit cake was only being used at Christmas time.
It's not the first time she has taken home a trophy. Last year she won the cakes and catering award and in 2016 received a highly recommended in the cakes and catering category.
"It's a really great industry to be a part of."