Betty Hildreth takes pride in her award-winning pies.
The Metchosin woman is among the longtime competitors who were there the moment Metchosin Day Bake Off was born.
A group of moms were enjoying a coffee klatch in the early ’90s when Jo Mitchell looked around and asked “Who bakes pies?”
“When she just threw it out there … that just started the competition,” Hildreth recalled. “We all looked at each other thinking ‘well I can certainly out-bake you’, and it just started.”
That first year she earned her most coveted awards: a double whammy Best Pie and Prettiest Pie for her “Metchosin Very Berry Pie.”
The first judge was a DJ from one of the Victoria radio stations.
“I don’t know what his qualifications were but he got to be the judge of the first pie contest,” Hildreth said with a chuckle. This year Royal Bay Bakery will provide judges.
“Eventually the pie contest morphed into the baking contest and now it has cakes,” Hildreth said.
This year organizer Deb Bonderoff is expanding the contest’s mandate even further.
“This year, to entice more youth to participate, we opened up a cupcake category,” Bonderoff said. “It’s just an easier thing for kids to get interested in than trying to bake a full cake.”
Bonderoff’s twin sister, Barbie Mayor, returns to her Metchosin roots from Tofino to help organize the much-anticipated competition.
“There are people in Metchosin who have participated in Metchosin since day one. It becomes quite fierce,” Bonderoff said. “People love to win.”
Ribbons go to the top three, but certificates like Off the Diet Best Bad Cake and A Little Dose of Crazy Cake make for more awards to go around.
Entries must be made from scratch, decorations must be edible and organizers will not accept entries that require refrigeration.
“We just don’t have the facilities there to enable that,” Bonderoff said.
Entries must be received at Metchosin Council Chambers between 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8.
“It’s a real local thing, it’s a very local vibe around it,” Hildreth said. “People get so excited about it that people have their faces pressed up against the windows at the council chamber.”