Honeymoon Bakery’s holiday gingerbread display has been a part of the downtown Rome tradition over the last several years.
However, that gingerbread display is now famous after two Honeymoon Bakery employees won the Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown.”
The local bakery was contacted by producers earlier this year to see if anyone would be interested in competing. Longtime Honeymoon baker Kate White volunteered to represent the bakery and recruited Megan Ware to be her partner on the show.
“It was exciting that we were approached to do something. We had a lot of hoops to go through with auditions,” White said. “When we were picked, it felt like it was all worth it.”
Together, the two brainstormed how to capture the show’s theme, which was “Very Scary Christmas.”
“We kind of came up with it overnight. Kate came up with some kind of Yeti or Abominable Snowman person because she grew up in the mountains,” Ware said.
So their gingerbread house turned into a gingerbread mountaintop, with their original characters Sammy Sootfoot and Mama Sootfoot.
The scene depicts Sammy Sootfoot causing mischief on the mountain and causing Mama Sootfoot to wake up from her slumber.
The two baked the biggest structure pieces at Honeymoon then transported them to Knoxville, Tennessee, where filming took place.
For the competition, each team had 10 hours to put together their gingerbread masterpiece, while also having to incorporate a special snowball themed dessert on top.
“The crew at the studio was really welcoming and helped make our experience fun and comfortable and inviting,” White said. “They went out of their way to answer our questions and made sure we had everything we needed.”
While the Honeymoon team was competing against many people who do year-round gingerbread competitions, White and Ware were actually the ones to take home first place.
The two said they were quite shocked about the win, but they were more excited that they made their business, co-workers and all of Rome proud.
As a prize, White and Ware got a $10,000 adventure package that the two split.
The show aired on the Food Network Monday night and the entire Honeymoon Bakery crew gathered together to watch it.
On Tuesday morning, White and Ware came out to the bakery to recreate the masterpiece and include elements they didn’t have time to do during the competition, such as making the Sootfoots move.
You can visit Honeymoon Bakery at 228 Broad St. to see the piece and buy Sootfoot snowballs.
The Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown” is available to stream on Discovery+.