Riderwood ‘Aha’ Cupcakes … Made With Experience and Love


Riderwood, with 3,000 residents in Silver Spring is the
largest retirement community of its kind in the U.S. A sprawling campus on a
120-acre wooded setting, Riderwood is an amazing facility … like nothing I have ever seen.

Many activities are driven by the residents … and their
first ever week-long Aha Cupcake Challenge week was a series of delicious
activities. The resident Sugar and Spice Bakers club led by Barbara Doyle got the
idea rolling with Dan Dunne, from the branded public relations side of the
management company Erickson. They partnered with a host of sponsors (General
Mills, Georgetown Cupcakes, Cakes Plus, G&K Services, Restaurant
Association of Maryland, Riderwood’s Catering Services were some of the names I
saw prominently displayed) to host this high-energy magical baking challenge.


I attended the “Most Scrumptious-est Cupcake Contest” on
Wednesday, where I got to meet residents, chefs and Riderwood staff. I sit with
Magdy Mishraky on the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation.
Tom Foulkes from RAM judged cupcakes that day.

I had the most fun this morning at the “Yummy Cupcake
Contest.” Starting at 7 a.m. two teams of four gathered in the Seasons
Restaurant kitchen for a “friendly” competition. Team “Cupcake Capers” competed
against Team “Two + Too Sweet.” They had to bake 200 cupcakes, and then their
“marketing” team members had to sell their edible treats (for $1.00 each) on
campus. I had to include a picture of the cheerleaders.


Yummy Cupcake Contest – Team Members

Team 1: Cupcake Capers

Eloise Achhammer – Captain Age:  (not
disclosed) … Baking experience: I’ve baked many cupcakes over the years
for family, friends and of course for bake sales.

Norma Jean Wigfield … Age: (80’s) … I grew up on a dairy farm in southern Minnesota. My father
always had two “hired men” to help with the demanding job of running a farm and
a milk route. They ate one or two
meals a day with us, so a big part of my mother’s work was cooking and I was
her helper.

Norma DeCaroli … Age: 76 … I have two children and was a room-mother for many years –
thus, providing the opportunity to bake (yes, cupcakes) for my sons and their
classmates.  Cupcakes were the
perfect size for any occasion and easy to transport

Helen Watkins … Age: (not disclosed)

Team 2:  Two +
Too Sweet


Bonnie Balzer – Captain … Age: 67 … I have cooked cupcakes throughout my life.  This was my first cooking/baking

Nancy Ferrant … Age:  74 … In 1975 she won an award at Montgomery County Fair for sweet

Mary Catucci … Age: 87 … Started cooking at age 22; she has cooked many cupcakes
throughout the years.

Kitty Titus … Age: 82 … Started cooking at age 17 – has always baked birthday cakes.

As you can see from the fotos, they were doing everything
with some careful guidance from the Riderwood chefs. For a look at all the fotos I took … go to my Web Gallery by clicking: Riderwood fotos.


About the Author

Michael Birchenall is Editor and Publisher of Foodservice Monthly, a regional trade publication covering the foodservice industry of the Mid-Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, VA). Foodservice Monthly has been recognized as the Restaurant Association of Maryland's Allied Industry Member of the Year and by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington as the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year.

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