Below is our contest winner, Claudette Thurmond’s entry on why she thought she deserved to win, followed by her interview. By winning this contest, she won a check for $500 from ChefUniforms.com. The three runners up, Jose Luis Usquiano, Amanda Hartigan, and Aimee Bacon all gained over 600 votes during the contest voting period. Though they did not reach the 1,000 vote mark, ChefUniforms.com decided they wanted to still give these contestants a prize, so they were each sent a $100 ChefUniforms.com gift card! Read on to find out a little more about our winner:
Why I deserve to win Cash for the Holidays:
My name is Claudette, and in September of 2011, I opened my Custom Cake Business. On top of my regular clientele, I take advantage of every opportunity to donate cakes to my church, True Life Church in Universal City, TX. I also am a volunteer for Birthday Cakes 4 Free, San Antonio Chapter. They are a non-profit organization that reaches out to professional bakers to provide birthday cakes to children who, due to no fault of their own, would not normally receive a birthday cake. Most recently, I donated over $500 in baked goods to Austin Bakes for Bastrop. On October 1, 2011, this organization held one of the largest bake sales I personally had ever seen and raised over $12,000. The proceeds of this bake sale then went to The Austin Community Foundation Central Texas Wildfire Fund. I constantly use profits from my cake orders to buy supplies for my donated cakes. With the holidays coming up, I anticipate the need for my donations will be increased and the $500.00 would be a greater help than you could imagine. I have been blessed with a talent that I have never taken a class for. I am also blessed with the want to serve and bless others. Winning this contest would provide me with the means to make an even greater impact on the community as every penny would be used to provide the less fortunate with an unexpected treat. And Chef Uniforms, you could be the BIGGEST part of this, by selecting me as the winner. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
1. How does it feel to win Cash for the Holidays?
It feels so amazing, especially when I think about how many families I will be able to touch during the holidays!
2. How did you go about getting all of your votes? What did you do that helped the most (Facebook, Emails, etc)?
I work part time at a bank, where I shared my entry page with co workers as they shared with their co workers too. My husband is active duty Air Force currently deployed, and he shared with his co workers, friends and family to vote for me. And I shared the link to the contest in my Claudette’s Creations Facebook page and enticed people to vote and share. I made a little contest of my own by creating a raffle to win a gift certificate to Claudette’s Creations by voting and sharing. I would raffle it off when I hit a certain number of votes.
3. Why did you want to become a chef?
It was never planned. I made my sister’s wedding cake; it came out nice and figured, hey, I can do this. I love the gift God has given me.
4. What fabric and style of uniform do you enjoy wearing most?
I love the double button up baker’s coat. Short sleeved especially, because it gets so hot in Texas.
5. Do you enjoy dining out in your free time?
I love to dine out. That is one of my favorite past times I share with my best friend. Great food, great company, great conversations…
6. Do you see any changes in food trends?
I see a lot more health conscious options offered.
7. What are your future plans for your business?
I currently operate out if my home, however, I plan to one day have a store front for my cake shop, sell cake supplies, and teach cake decorating classes.
8. Is there any one thing you would have done differently in starting your culinary career?
I would have to say no, things have gone pretty smoothly.
Congratulations again, Claudette, and thanks again to all who participated in our contest!