Corner Cafe’s cake a General Mills winner: Nets $5K for North Quabbin Food-A-Thon

  • Corner Cafe in Orange was named the “People’s Choice” winner in General Mills Foodservice’s 6th Annual Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest with the maple brownie cake with candied bacon. The cafe also won $5,000 for the North Quabbin Food-A-Thon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/9/2021 3:11:28 PM
Modified: 3/9/2021 3:11:26 PM

ORANGE — The Corner Cafe has been named the “People’s Choice” grand-prize winner of the General Mills Foodservice’s sixth annual Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, and the North Quabbin Food-A-Thon will soon be $5,000 richer because of it.

The cafe entered the contest at the suggestion of previous entrant Dede Johnson, of Johnson’s Farm Restaurant, and it became one of 20 winners as well as getting named the People’s Choice winner after the picture of its maple brownie cake with candied bacon received the most comments on Facebook.

Corner Cafe, owned by Terry Bouchard, won $5,000 for being one of the 20 winners and an additional $5,000 for the charity of her choice for the other accolade.

Bouchard said she chose the North Quabbin Food-A-Thon because her customers come from all over the North Quabbin region “and we just felt that (the food-a-thon) would reach more communities.” She has owned the cafe inside Trail Head Outfitter & General Store for about a year and a half. For being the People’s Choice winner, Bouchard also receives a VIP marketing package that includes a one-on-one culinary consultation with the chefs from General Mills Foodservice as well as additional marketing support.

The maple brownie cake with candied bacon is the work of her daughter, Stephanie Cook, who comes in to help with baking. Attempts to contact Cook were unsuccessful. The recipe is available at

Corner Cafe’s win as the People’s Choice was announced on Facebook in a video by General Mills Corporate Chef Theodore Osorio.

According to Sarah Peterson, who works in public relations and communications for General Mills Convenience & Foodservice, the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest was started to showcase independent restaurants and foods trucks for their unique dishes.

“We also wanted to acknowledge and celebrate the special role that these establishments play in the hearts of their patrons, and after this challenging year this is even more apparent,” she said in an email.

Jay Deane, chair of the North Quabbin Food-A-Thon’s steering committee, said he learned at a meeting the cause would get $5,000 from General Mills.

“All the members of the steering committee were just thrilled beyond words,” he said Friday. “I was just so thrilled that they won an award. This is a place in my hometown that’s receiving national recognition for its amazing food. No pun intended, but (the donation is) even more icing on the cake. I couldn’t believe it.”

Deane said the foodathon has raised $484,426 since it started in 2004. It raised $42,500 in 2020.

According to Peterson, General Mills doubled the number of winners, from 10 to 20, for this year’s recipe contest to give more restaurants and food truck operators the opportunity to win much-needed cash and paid advertising and other marketing tools to promote their business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were asked to upload a photo of their recipe using at least one ingredient from General Mills Foodservice’s participating brands and share how they used the product in a creative way or how their dish brings comfort and joy to their customers during these challenging times.

“This past year has made it even more apparent the special place that independent eateries hold in the heart of their communities, exemplifying the spirit behind the Neighborhood to Nation Contest,” Kelley Walhof, brand experience assistant manager for General Mills Foodservice, said in a statement from the company. “We are excited to announce this year’s winners, whose creativity and tenacity shine through with these 20 distinctive menu items.”

The 2020 contest winners — chosen after submitting an original recipe judged on taste, appearance, creativity and foodservice viability — were surprised with the news of their win during Zoom calls with General Mills representatives during the past few weeks. Each winner got a “celebration box” featuring a personalized sign and pennant to hang on a wall, a yard sign, an oversized check and a variety of marketing materials to promote their win among their customers, staff and community.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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