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A Starring Role on Cupcake Wars

National audience for Massapequa baker

Watching Cupcake Wars on the Food Network recently, Merrick resident and co-owner of a Massapequa Park bakery Andrew Mincher and his fiancé, Nicole Hendershot, realized that Andrew would be a great contender for the show.

“I love to bake, and I love to create new things,” said Andrew. So together with his cake decorator Damilynn Lacaruba, Andrew and Nicole created a creative cupcake video and submitted it to the show’s producers for consideration.

Much to their delight, the phone call came: Andrew was invited to participate as a contestant on the national program, Cupcake Wars. The episode, which was filmed in California, premiered on Feb. 26 and aired again on March 6, featured a Horror Show theme, and the bakers were asked to create cupcakes in homage to the gory movie genre. Using the prescribed, surprise ingredients, Andrew and Jamilynn created artfully decorated cupcakes such as Banana Rum Cupcakes with rum-soaked fresh bananas and peanut butter buttercream and a Carrot Cake Cupcake featuring fresh shredded carrots, walnuts and coconut topped with cream cheese frosting.

Making it to the final of four competitive rounds, Andrew showcased his original and artfully decorated culinary masterpieces in a custom-built display shaped like two coffins – in keeping with the designated horror show theme. And while the judges agreed that based on the quality, taste, originality and appearance of the cupcakes, Andrew and the other finalist were on a level playing field, Andrew took second place.

“Being on the show was a great experience,” added Andrew. “It was fun, and despite the time pressure of every round, I didn’t really feel stressed. This is what I do and I thought, I’m going to have fun doing it.”

Andrew, his future father-in-law Steve Hendershot and future brother-in-law Greg Hendershot purchased Dimonda Bakery at 1030 Park Blvd. in Massapequa Park in February 2011. Currently transitioning to its new name, Sugar Rush Bakery, the sweet shoppe now features some of the old standards that made Dimonda’s a neighborhood mainstay, as well as many popular new taste sensations created by Andrew and his team. Andrew learned the art and science of baking from his brother Ray Mincher, who has been a professional baker all his life. Andrew’s recent participation in Cupcake Wars, and achievement of Finalist status, was an exciting way for the new Sugar Rush Bakery to celebrate its one-year anniversary under new ownership.