Bakers Journal

Rivi’s Guilt Free Cookies named Innovator of the Year

October 4, 2013
By Bakers Journal

Oct. 4, 2013, Toronto – Rivi’s Guilt Free Cookies has been crowned the 2013 Bakers Journal Innovator of the Year.

Artsy Baker was awarded the runner-up title
in a tight race for the top spot as one of six finalists in this year’s

The Bakers Journal Innovator of the Year
award, gold sponsored by Fuller Landau
chartered accountants and business advisors, silver sponsored by Paragon Glaze
Consulting, and bronze sponsored by Speedo flavours, is in its third year. For
2013, two categories were created – one for small/medium bakeries and one for
large bakeries. Due to insufficient entries in the large category, Bakers Journal and its sponsors will be
awarding one winner and one runner-up in the small category only.


The finalists for this year’s title (in no
particular order aside from winner and runner-up) were:

Rivi Horwitz of Rivi’s Guilt Free Cookies

Rivi’s Guilt Free Cookies are snacks made
without oil, butter or margarine, and free from nuts, sesame, dairy, trans
fats, preservatives and artificial colours or flavours. Some of her cookies
even met the requirements to earn the seal for the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s
Health Check program. All of her products are certified Kosher and she uses
only non-GMO ingredients. Horwitz’s mission is to create healthier snacks that
taste good too. It all started in 1996, when she opened her business after a
health scare – cholesterol four times the appropriate level – that she took
health more seriously, and wanted to help others also make healthier choices. The
Toronto-based bakery specializes in cookies and granola, with products sold
across Canada.

Antonella Cellini of the Artsy Baker

Cellini is a self-taught baker and cake
designer who launched her own line of fondant that are free of nuts, gluten,
eggs, dairy, trans fat and cholesterol. The retail product has made it to the
shelves of Metro, Longos, Winners and Homesense, and she is supplying bakeries
as well. Cellini also offers cake and cupcake mixes in nut-free, gluten-free,
egg-free, dairy-free, vegan and sugar-free options. Her level of cake artistry
has garnered her creations prominent spots such as the entrance to the 2010
Toronto Bridal Show. Located in Aurora, Ont., she specializes in custom cakes,
cupcakes and cookies for any occasion.

Joanna Schultz of Pikanik

Pikanik is a gluten and nut free bakery
headed by the innovative marketing strategies of Schultz. The bakery has an
iPhone app, utilizes Apple’s Passbook, and displays its menu through a
projector that also runs testimonials. She decided to open up her own business
after having two girls with food sensitivities, and found no dietary
alternative options for hot lunch days at school. Now she has an open lunch bar
and bakery located in Surrey, B.C.

Sandra Abballe of Succulent Chocolates

Abballe seeks to go beyond making great
chocolate. Her Ontario-based company is focused on creating events around
chocolate that educate people and make it an entire chocolate experience.  Earlier
this year, Abballe competed in the World Chocolate Masters Canadian
Pre-selection and won “Best Molded Bon Bon in Canada”.

Debby Stroud of Hotti Biscotti 

Stroud prides herself on the reinvention of
biscotti. Her softer version in a multitude of flavours even got her into the
good books of Oprah. Stroud started out as an optician until she was left her
job in 2009 after being in the industry for about 35 years. For most people this would be a sad time, but for Stroud it was an opportunity to start her own
bakery ­– something she has dreamt about since a child. Her bakery is located
in Hamilton, Ont., and she specializes in biscotti, cookie “pies”, cookies, and

Gioia Grandinetti and Teresa Pileggi of The
Cookie Messenger

The Cookie Messenger tells any story the
customer chooses through a cookie bouquet. Artists Grandinetti and Pileggi are
striving to stretch what a cookie can be, creating 3D cookie sculptures and
hand-painted faces in high detail. The business has been at their Woodbridge,
Ont., location for two years.

As the 2013 Bakers Journal Innovator of the
Year, Rivi’s Guilt Free Cookies will win $500 and be featured as the December cover
story in Bakers Journal magazine. Artsy Baker will
also be featured in a future issue. Don’t miss these great stories of baking
success! Bakers Journal would like to congratulate
the winners and all of the finalists, as well as thank them for inspiring us with
their stories. Thank you to our contest sponsors – Fuller
Landau, Paragon Glaze Consulting and Speedo flavours – for making this
competition possible.



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