EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
BERTRAM — The days of baking only a handful of Lorraine’s Original Texas Pecan Cakes at a time might be over for Bridget and Will McCoy after the couple nabbed first place in the 2017 H-E-B Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best contest.
“It really opens opportunities for us,” said Will McCoy as he pulled cakes out of the oven in the couple’s store, Texas Pecan Cake Shop, located in the Joann Cole Mitte Memorial Library in Bertram.
On Aug. 11, the McCoys presented the cake to a panel of H-E-B judges in Austin. They were among 25 finalists vying to become an H-E-B Primo Pick. A top-four finish would land them a check and, just as important, a chance to place their product on the shelves of H-E-B stores across the state.
After the product presentations, H-E-B officials announced the results. Third and second places were called out, going to someone else. Will admitted he had a moment when he believed, “Well, it could go one way: (grand champion) or we’re going home.”
However, before H-E-B officials announced the grand prize winner, they called the McCoys, who tied for first with WarPig BBQ’s sauce. The Bertram couple received a check for $20,000 and a trophy.
The McCoys have more meetings with H-E-B officials this month to talk about selling their cakes in H-E-B stores starting in 2018.
To meet the potential increase in demand for their cakes, they are busy working with a commercial bakery among other tasks.
Bridget and Will McCoy started the business about 18 months ago in their Bertram kitchen before setting up shop last September in the library. Their success lies in the recipe. Will’s mother, Lorraine, created the original pecan cake in her kitchen in the 1970s. She operated a catering and wedding cake business out of her Refugio home.
“There would have been no other way without her recipe,” Will McCoy said. “I was able to follow her recipe, but it’s hers. The fact we made this off Mom’s recipe is a tribute to how good her cakes were — the Texas pecan cakes and all the other ones she made.”
Texas Pecan Cake Shop is located in the Bertram library, 170 S. Gabriel St. It offers full-size, medium-size, and mini-cakes all in the shape of Texas and in several flavors besides the original. The shop also has an online store at texaspecancakes.com.
H-E-B Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best winners
- Grand prize — Skull and Cakebones for its Mocha Marmalade
- First place (tie) — Texas Pecan Cake Shop for its Lorraine’s Original Texas Pecan Cakes and WarPig BBQ’s For Use on Butts and Ribs Sauce
- Second place — Tamale Addiction for its Poblano & Muenster Cheese Organic Masa Tamales
- Third place — La Familia Cortez Restaurants for its Mia Tierra Salsa Verde