GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL — Two award-winning bakers in Grand Falls-Windsor have proved they know their way around the kitchen in more ways than one.
It’s been a busy couple of months since the Advertiser last caught up with the Hogg sisters after they won the Youth Ventures Excellence in Customer Service Award last summer.
And since, Cora and Devyn have proven they are not only great bakers, students, athletes, and all-around youth – they can also cook.
The 13-year-old twins, who operate Cakes By Two Peas in a Pod out of their family home, competed in the Skills Canada Intermediate Challenge last weekend in St. John’s to show off their cooking skills.
They competed for the first time last year in the Junior Chef Challenge and didn’t place; however, their spin on pizza and salad this year placed them on top of the 16 other teams of two this year.
“We didn’t place last year but we decided to come back this year and try again,” Cora said. “We made a pumpkin seed pesto chicken pizza with blistered tomatoes and goat cheese, and a baby kale salad with toasted pumpkin seeds, red onions and a Dijon vinaigrette.”
They were the only team from central Newfoundland, and they won gold.
“It was quite a surprise to us,” Devyn said. “We did not expect that.”
The girls said they’ve been cooking since the age of three when their pre-school had a cooking class and they’ve enjoyed it ever since.
“Now we cook for our parents and family,” Cora said.
Busy baking business
One top of cooking, the girls operate their own business making cakes, cupcakes and cake truffles, and taking orders for wedding cakes.
“We’ve been so busy,” Devyn said.
“We’ve had to turn down a lot of cake orders the past couple months,” Cora said, adding they hate having to say no to people who want to order.
“Ever since this summer we’ve been getting orders non-stop – cupcakes, cakes, cake truffles – and because we have so many we can’t overdo it. We try to take at least one cake a week but if we can do two a week that’s our max. We want to make sure the best we can do goes out.”
They are busy also with extra-curricular activities including school band, hockey and volleyball, and they are currently training to become lifeguards. They are gone every weekend for hockey or volleyball tournaments.
“We’re also keeping in mind school work. That’s always a priority,” Devyn said. “We always find time in between to bake.”
“We manage our time really good which is a really good skill,” Cora added. “We get home from school and study and start decorating and baking and then we would go to one of our activities and come back and do a little bit.”
As of Sunday evening, they were booked solid for orders until Dec. 10, and their upcoming Christmas cupcake order sale is maxed out as well.
With their schedules it’s no wonder they are looking forward to Christmas holidays – they are taking a break from school, extra-curriculars and baking – which is probably a good idea since they have a big slab cake order and 150 mini cupcakes for a nursing grad in January.
Though the sisters admit they don’t see themselves not baking over the break.
“We always have that urge to bake,” Devyn said.
“When there are periods of time when we don’t have an order, we just experiment,” Cora said. “We try new flavours and stuff.”