A Stratford cake maker is the only Taranaki finalist in a national awards competition.
Annette Dudley, owner of A Love of Cakes - By Annette, has been nominated for the cake artist category in the Wedding Industry Awards, a prestigious event recognising businesses in the wedding and events industry. Hers is the only Taranaki business to feature in any of the categories.
She says people have to be nominated to enter the awards.
"When I saw the email confirming I'd been nominated I was very overwhelmed. I still don't know who nominated me, it could have been any of my clients over the past two years. I feel very honoured to be nominated for the awards."
Annette says she has been making two to three cakes a week this season.
"My process starts on Tuesday and finishes on a Saturday. I start making cakes on Tuesdays, on Thursdays I ice the cake and Friday I decorate and add the final touches and then deliver to the venue on the Saturday. I've also been making a lot of birthday cakes recently."
She says making a cake for a celebration is special.
"It's nice being involved in someone's special day or celebration."
Annette has been running her business for over 15 years.
"I couldn't find someone in Taranaki to make my wedding cake so I went to Auckland, Anita Sutton from Auckland Cake Arts made my wedding cake. We are still friends to this day."
Annette's mother and grandmother taught her how to bake. As for the decorating side, Annette says she is self taught.
Annette enjoys being able to use creativity in her business.
"I went to WITT and gained a Diploma in Accounting Management and Business. I enjoy being able to use my business skills and creativity. I've always been a creative person."
The current trend for cakes, Annette says, is the half-naked rustic looking cakes.
"People are also turning to fresh flowers on their cakes as well."
Annette's favourite cake she's made recently was for last year's Taranaki Wedding Show.
"I worked with a florist and we created an arch cake. The arch was covered in flowers and the cake hung in the middle. I love having the creative freedom when I make a cake. I really like 3D structural cakes. They're time consuming but I love them."
The awards evening takes place on October 1.