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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Hometown Lily’s Cakes wins ‘Cake Wars’

Hometown Lily’s Cakes wins ‘Cake Wars’

SARA ESCOBAR

Evening Star

 

 

Local Harker Heights baker and business owner, Lilian Haibi is certainly living the American dream. In doing so, she helping to put Harker Heights even more into the national spotlight by winning an episode of Cake Wars, with her Monopoly-themed cake.

With the support from her husband, as well as some close friends, Halabi was chosen to be a participant in Food Network’s “Cake Wars”. For Halabi, she says it was every baker’s dream.

“I was shocked when I got the call from Food Network. I had no idea that my loved ones had sent in my information, but it was such a big honor. I felt like I was a part of something bigger, and the recognition that we’ve received locally has been incredible,”

winningcakeThe episode that featured Halabi on the iconic baking show aired Monday, January 23 at 8 p.m. on Food Network. A grand prize of $10,000 was up for grabs by Halabi, and three other bakers, as well as the opportunity to have their cake as a centerpiece at an after-party. The theme for the episode was the revered board game Monopoly, with guest and director of the Monopoly brand at Hasbro, Rebecca Hollander, sitting in to help choose the winner.

Participants were judged in two rounds on creativity, presentation, and of course, flavor. Halabi was like a firecracker, working incessantly to create eloquent and tasteful cakes. She was only fueled by the judges’ criticism, and came back in round two to try and ‘wow’ them as best as she could.

Ultimately, her hard work paid off, and Halabi was selected as the winner after a grueling face-off between her talented competition. Halabi says she couldn’t have done it alone, “I have an amazing team and I couldn’t do this without them. You have to be aware of the people around you who help turn your hopes into realities. I feel like I’m really living the American dream,”

Halabi is no stranger to the inter-working complexities of business, or the drive that comes with running one. As the owner of Lily’s Cakes in Harker Heights, Halabi says she has been around business owners her whole life.

“I was born and raised in Venezuela,” says Halabi, “It was in my blood, because both of my parents ran their own businesses. Baking was always present in my life, but it was almost like a forbidden fruit. My mother wasn’t a baker,” Halabi would eventually come to the Harker Heights area in 1995, and Lily’s Cakes would be open for business in October 2012. “There’s joy in doing what you like and being successful, it definitely makes it more fun,”

Lily’s Cakes plans to expand sometime during the spring of this year. Their new location will be across from the Temple Scott and White hospital, on 31st street. “If the citizens in Temple are anything like the ones in Heights, then we know we will be welcomed with open arms,” says Halabi, who is very eager and hopeful for their grand opening.

It’s clear to see Halabi’s passion and motivation in doing what she loves, especially to those around her. “My husband has always been my right hand, in everything I do,” notes Halabi, “From day one when I started taking cake decorating classes at Hobby Lobby, he was by my side. He has always believed in me, and encouraged me,”

As for the fate of Lily’s Cakes in Harker Heights, Halabi says they are going to continue to do what they do best. “This is only the beginning. We plan to continue taking care of our customers and making sure that we’re making the best baked goods that we can. When you order a cake with us, you’re allowing us a glimpse into your own life, and we get to help make it a memorable experience for you. That’s really what means the most to me,”

To find out more about Lily’s Cakes, visit them at 360 W Central Texas Expressway, suite 204.

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