Hobcaw Café, on Grove Avenue in Verona has announced the winners of their gingerbread house contest. In the children's category, the honors go to Caroline Chivily for first place and second place goes to Grace Giordano. In the adult's grouping, the first place winner is Evelyn Brooks and Christina Turkington for second place. First place winners will each receive a gift card to Hobcaw worth $40 while the second place prize for each is a Hobcaw gift card for $25.
As the days get colder, there is not much more heartwarming than walking into a home that has gingerbread baking in the oven. The scent lingers and usually brings a smile to all those who enter. Walking into Hobcaw Café these past weeks, with 13 homemade gingerbread houses on display, can have the same effect.
Hobcaw has been featuring the gingerbread houses on display in its café since the beginning of December. The contest wasn’t judged by a panel of bakers or by chef-owners Nancy McArthur, a graduate of the National Gourmet Institute, or son, James McArthur. Instead, anonymous donation cups were set up at each gingerbread house and the public voted on their favorite house by the amount of donations gathered at each house since the beginning of the contest on December 5th.
The donations are going to benefit Operation Cheer in Newark, which operates the Clinton Avenue Soup Kitchen.The final tally of donations for the soup kitchen is just over $400.
According to James McArthur, “We tried to keep it from becoming a popularity contest by not listing the names of each gingerbread house creator. We did not allow professional bakers or kits to be used either. It was from scratch, just like our food at the cafe. It was fun all around."