The cupcake kid has won a province-wide contest

Shara JJ Cooper
By Shara JJ Cooper
July 8th, 2013

Maxwell Nicholson, the local “cupcake kid” is known for the baked goods he sells at the Grand Fork’s farmer’s market. Now, he is known to an even broader audience after winning first place at Discover Trades BC’s “Show Us Your Skills” video contest. 

The contest accepted entries between February and May of this year, with the winners announced on June 25. Nicholson won a MacBook Pro, which he sold and shared the money with Nate Klassen — who made the video. They also won $2,000 for Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS)

In order to enter, Nicholson had to make a video about his trade — baking. He worked with Klaseen — a long-time friend — to make the video. The video was filmed in the GFSS kitchen. 

“It took about one hour to film, three or four hours to edit but over five hours to upload,” said Nicholson of his struggles to get the video on the site. In the end, he had to email it to contest organizers.

“It was totally worth it,” he said, laughing about the experience. 

He was competing against other high school students around the province, with competitors in other major cities like Richmond and Surrey. Even so, he remained confident. 

“I figured we’d be in the top three just from watching the other views,” he said. 

As the contest progressed, fans were able to vote for their favourite video and the results were shown immediatley. Nicholson was able to watch as his video stayed at the top of the list. 

Klassen credits Nicholson’s passion and background in propelling the video to the top. 

“It helped that Max already has his own business and he’s really, really good at what he does,” he said. 

He was still thrilled when they won. 

“It’s pretty amazing. I was really happy.” 

Nicholson feels that entering the contest would have been worthwhile even if they hadn’t placed. 

“Even if I hadn’t won, it would have been good too. I got to talk about why I do what I do. My customer’s got to see that,” he said. 

Nicholson has been running his own baking business — Alaythia Cakes — in Grand Forks for three years. At first, he only brought a dozen or so cupcakes to the farmer’s market but he has continued expanding his selection. 

“I just made chocolate croissants for the first time,” he said. “They were pretty good. I’m going to start taking them to the farmer’s market.” 

Nicholson is going into grade 12, and he plans on taking his love of baking with him into the future. He’d like to study business at school before taking a culinary program and then advancing his skills in Western Europe. 

“I’d love to study pastry and chocolates in Switzerland, France, Britain… those kinds of places around Europe,” he said. 

His plans will take him away from Grand Forks, but he credits the city for his start.

“I’m probably going to set up somewhere bigger, but its (Grand Forks) has definitely played a role already,” he said, adding if he had started in Summerland — where he’s originally from — things would probably be quite different. “It helps being in a small town. Especially when you have a business. There’s not a lot of competition so I wasn’t discouraged when I first started.” 

Nicholson’s baked goods will be at the farmer’s market this summer and he plans on setting up at the Christina Lake Homecoming, July 20. 

He is continuing to expand his creations and may have savory treats like pesto croissants at the market this summer. 




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