FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 Contact: Rob Clark, Michigan Sugar Company, 989-686-0161

FRANKENMUTH – It was back-to-back championships for Colleen Gawrylowicz, of Caro, whose Chocolate RumChata Cake took the grand prize at the first-ever All Things Chocolate Recipe Contest held Wednesday, Jan. 23, as part of Zehnder’s Snowfest in Frankenmuth.

Gawrylowicz’s win came on the heels of her victory at the 2018 Zehnder’s Snowfest, where her Tortellini Salad was voted the best dish in the Michigan Apple Recipe Contest.

This year, Snowfest organizers changed things up a bit and introduced a new contest featuring all things chocolate. Forty-five bakers from across Michigan took part in the event, competing in three categories: cookies, brownies and cakes. All recipes were required to use Pioneer brand sugar from Michigan Sugar Company, the main sponsor of the event. Volunteer judges chose the top three dishes in each category with the top two from each category advancing to the finals, where another set of judges chose the grand prize winner.

Gawrylowicz won both her category and the grand prize – a trip to Mackinac Island.

Here is a list of the top three finishers in each category. Each of them received a prize package, including 40 pounds of Michigan Sugar for first place, 20 pounds for second place and 10 pounds for third place. Other prizes included gifts from sponsors Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, Star of the West Milling Co. and Le Creuset. Radio stations WSGW and WITL also helped sponsor the All Things Chocolate Recipe Contest.

Cookie Category

1st Place – Jessica Bryant, Shepherd – Double Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints 2nd Place – Melissa Kildow, Grand Blanc – Loaded and Luscious Hot Chocolate Cookies 3rd Place – Betty Timmreck, Eau Claire – Chocolate Chocolate-Mint Chip Cookies

Brownie Category

1st Place – Pamela Hornbacher-Retzler, Caro – German Chocolate Brownies 2nd Place – Carole Skibbe, Eau Claire – Raspberry Brownie Delight 3rd Place – Gaelen McNamara, Okemos – Chocolate Raspberry-Cream Brownies

Cake Category

1st Place – Colleen Gawrylowicz, Caro – Chocolate RumChata Cake 2nd Place – Barbara Wheeler, Royal Oak – Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake Topped with Fresh Fruit 3rd Place – Lauren Haveman, Hudsonville – Schichttorte

About Michigan Sugar Company

Michigan Sugar Company was founded in 1906 when six smaller sugar companies merged their operations. In 2002, Michigan Sugar Company became a grower-owned cooperative and in 2004, it merged with Monitor Sugar Company to form the company that exists today.

Michigan Sugar Company is headquartered in Bay City and has sugarbeet processing facilities in Bay City, Caro, Croswell and Sebewaing, Michigan. Its nearly 900 grower-owners plant and harvest up to 160,000 acres of sugarbeets each year in 20 Michigan counties, as well as Ontario, Canada. Those beets are sliced at the factories and turned into about 1.3 billion pounds of sugar annually.

The sugar is sold to industrial, commercial and retail customers under the Pioneer and Big Chief brands.

Michigan Sugar Company has 930 year-round employees and an additional 1,100 seasonal workers. The company is the No. 1 employer in Huron County, the No. 2 employer in Bay and Sanilac counties and the No. 3 employer in Tuscola County. Its annual payroll is about $65 million and its annual local economic impact is about $500 million.

Michigan Sugar Company is the third largest of nine sugarbeet processing companies in the United States and Michigan is one of 10 states where sugarbeets are grown in the country.


Photos by Rob Clark | Michigan Sugar Company


Contest Winner

Colleen Gawrylowicz of Caro captured the grand prize at this year’s All Things Chocolate Recipe Contest with her Chocolate RumChata Cake. She is pictured here with Michigan Sugar Queen Paige Lupcke, right; 1st Attendant Rachel Phillips, left; and 2nd Attendant Ashley Gibbs.





Cookie Winners

Winners in the cookie category at the All Things Chocolate Recipe Contest are, from left, Melissa Kildow of Grand Blanc, second place; Jessica Bryant of Shepherd, first place; and Betty Timmreck of Eau Claire, third place.




Brownie Winners

Winners in the brownie category at the All Things Chocolate Recipe Contest are, from left, Gaelen McNamara, Okemos, third place; Pamela Hornbacher-Retzler of Caro, first place; and Carole Skibbe of Eau Claire, third place.





Cake Winners

Winners in the cake category at the All Things Chocolate Recipe Contest are, from left, Colleen Gawrylowicz of Caro, first place; Barbara Wheeler of Royal Oak, second place; and Lauren Haveman of Hudsonville, third place.