One family brings their gingerbread houses to North Carolina in an annual holiday tradition.
For Jessica Frost, gingerbread is more than just a cookie—it’s a passion. The Woodbury resident of five months has been competing in the Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition in Asheville, North Carolina, for the past eight years, and took home multiple awards in its 2023 competition.
“This year’s creation won the People’s Choice; Best in Show award, which was quite an honor,” Frost says, noting that her colorful retro-themed gingerbread house also won Best Use of Color and placed in the Top 10. As for her inspiration behind the uniquely built house, she says, “Me and my husband got inspired by our multiple road trips. We love traveling, and I … am obsessed with any retro stops along the highway … Themed diners are at the top of my list.”
Frost took that love of retro diners and ran with it in creating Rockin’ at the Diner, Love at Frost Sight—a massive gingerbread creation featuring retro-inspired vehicles, a diner with a large guitar at its center topped with a burger, fries and a milkshake, and more fun elements.
A previous Asheville resident, Frost, an avid baker, was first introduced to the competition by her friend who recommended she view the display. “It mesmerized me to see creations with all food ingredients. There are no wood [pieces] or wires,” Frost says, who had previous experience in cake competitions, where competitors could use dowels and support systems. “I find it challenging, to be honest, and I think that’s why I keep going back to it,” she adds. “It’s a fun way to play with your food.”
So many years later, the entire Frost family is getting into the holiday spirit. “For the past two years, my husband has helped out,” Frost says. “I’m the artist, sculptor and baker, [and Joseph] does the engineering, measurements and proportions.”
Frost’s daughters, Emmalyn (11) and Olivias (9), have also started competing—and they’re even taking home the big prize. “They won first place in the youth category,” Frost says of their build, Fun in the Tub, Frost Girls. “They went together as a team this year … What a great job they did. It’s a really fun, artsy looking house with rubber duckies around it.”
When asked if Frost will continue to compete at the national level she says, “Absolutely,” and notes that she’s going for that coveted first place. “It’s my dream,” she says.
About the National Gingerbread House Competition
The Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition began as a casual holiday celebration in 1992 in Asheville, North Carolina, when its community members built and displayed their own gingerbread houses at the inn as a way to celebrate the season. Although there wasn’t a plan to continue it the following year, the tradition steadily grew into the competition known today. Now the panel of judges include renowned food and media professionals; and it has been broadcasted nationally by NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, the Travel Channel and the Food Network. View the winners in the 31st annual National Gingerbread House Competition here.