The Inaugural Great Excite Xmas Bake-Off!
Whether you love or hate Christmas, there’s no denying that it’s the time of year where everyone loves to join together and feast on a variety of delicious and decadent treats (especially baked goods). For many busy parents (like me), baking generally isn’t a high priority on the weekly-to-do list, however as soon as the festive seasons hits and Christmas fills the sections of the local supermarket, we all start thinking about that incredibly late night on the horizon when all our good intentions are tested as we bake our hearts out.
At Excite we value family over all else. It sits right at the top of our value tree. So sharing in the delights of home-made treats tick a big culture box for us. Furthermore, being involved in a group experience (and the joy of communal eating) are really powerful in unifying a team – making a competitive Bake-Off the perfect idea to get everyone in the Christmas spirit leaving us full of Christmas Cheer, shiny trophies and a massive sugar high!
And that it did … the day was a complete success! With 19 entries across 4 categories the 26th of November brought all that and more. Not only did we crown 4 category champions– but we also used the experience as a opportunity to find a hero dish to win our grand champion trophy and feature as our client Christmas gift for 2018.
However, this success didn’t come out of nowhere. Planning was started weeks in advance with the initial conception of the idea and creation of the Bake-Off brand identity. This was followed by teaser messaging across our internal channels and as soon as we knew it posters started popping up not only in our kitchens and around the office but also as regular reminders on Skype, Slack and Tempo.
Once the initial planning challenges had been overcome the next big challenge was picking the judging day. Mondays meant you could bake over the weekend … but there was the equal risk you could forget. Our Mondays are also fraught with loads of planning for the week ahead, so it was always going to be a gamble, but we took the risk and the results were all we could hope for and more.
As the boardroom table filled with a great variety of tasty sweet treats, our judging panel started to arrive and we knew they would be a tough bunch to please. To make the event really memorable we had put the call out to some of our local Excite clients to act as ‘fair and honest’ judges. Big thanks go out to Karen and Steven from Prescare, Ryn from Red Candy, Jane from Fig Tree Children, Andrea from Tackle Warehouse and professional baker Robyn from Little Birdie Cakes. Armed with scorecards and coffee they delivered our inaugural results.
We would like to congratulate our 2018 Champions:
Julia and her Pecan Butter tarts (Open Category Winner)
Erinna and her Banoffee Pavlova Wreath (Cookie, Slices and Crunchy Things Winner)
Polina and Andrew with their Russian ‘Megobuk’ Honey Cake and Crunchy Cranberry & White Chocolate Muffins respectively (joint Winners of Cakes, Muffins and Spongey Things on identical scores)
And Tracey (me) for Pepperminty Mystery Bars (Gluten Free, Vegan Winner)
Big congratulations to our Overall Grand Champion, Erinna for her spectacularly delicious Banoffee Pavlova Wreath
Now the stage is set to organise the Christmas messaging to our family of Excite clients with Erinna’s Bannoffee Pavlova Wreath featuring front and centre. Over the next few weeks our creative thinkers will be working overtime to work this awesome treat into a unique and quirky Excite offering for the festive season that won’t cause our Production team to pull their hair out. Stay tuned because more about this will be coming soon!
So as Christmas approaches and the festivity kicks in – from everyone here at excite, we wish everyone a stress-free silly season and hope that your 2019 is truly Exciting!