GREENSBORO — The owners of a local bakery pulled out of a televised cake competition, citing an emergency, after the latest episode on Monday.
“Wedding Cake Championship,” which filmed in the fall, was just a few days into production when Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas. The storm forced bakers Erik and Traci Rankins, who own Greensboro’s Easy Peasy Decadent Desserts, to drop out of the competition, they said after Monday’s episode.
“We were like, ‘We can’t be out here. We’ve got kids and our house and our business, and we need to be there,’” Erik Rankins said.
The Food Network show, in its second season, challenges teams of bakers to create elaborate wedding cakes for a shot at $25,000.
The second season, which began airing June 3, was filmed in September in California. The Rankinses were contractually bound to keep silent about their outcome until after the episode had aired.
It was an emotional decision for the couple to pull out of the competition. After a poor start in which they narrowly survived round one, they made it through round two and were on their way to round three when they got news of the hurricane.
Erik Rankins said the show’s producers were understanding.
“They were very gracious about it,” he said.
Greensboro was spared the brunt of the storm, but the Rankinses don’t regret the decision to leave the show.
“We feel like we made the right decision and we would make it again,” Erik Rankins said. “It was a great opportunity … but in the end, that’s all it is. Family is more important.”
But the Rankinses, who call themselves Mr. and Mrs. Cupcake, may get a second opportunity to be on the show. The producers invited the couple to return for season three.
“It was such a great experience, I can’t see not repeating it,” Rankins said.
Having been on the show once will be an advantage. The Rankinses were challenged by the heat and humidity of being in an open air tent on the California coast. Erik Rankins said they’ll plan accordingly the next time.
“We know what to expect. But, then, that also means that we’ll probably be held to a higher standard,” he said. “We’ll have to step it up.”
Rankins said they also hope to compete on another Food Network show called “Halloween Wars.”
Traci Rankins is also applying to compete on the Food Network show “Chopped.”
Rankins said he and Traci have been amazed from the reaction of the community.
“So many people have contacted us,” he said. “We’ve gotten a big outpouring of support.”