Is The Cake Guys Chad Fitzgerald the “Next Great Baker”?

Filed under: Community |

Former Duncanville High School math teacher and co-owner of The Cake Guys, Chad Fitzgerald, is no longer Duncanville’s secret. The nation can now get very familiar with Fitzgerald and his outstanding baking and decorating skills.

Fitzgerald is now a contestant in season two of Next Great Baker on TLC, which premiered last Monday night. Chad is competing against twelve other bakers for a $100,000 cash prize, four-page feature in Brides Magazine, and a chance to work with TLC’s Cake Boss Buddy Valastro at Carlos’s Bakery in New Jersey.

Fitzgerald and his partner Edward Navejas operate their Duncanville business at 700 N. Clark Road, at Camp Wisdom Road. They recently opened a second location in Dallas at 3527 Oaklawn Avenue.

Fitzgerald credits his grandmother with teaching him how to bake as a child in Hereford, Texas.

“I got all my baking skills from her,” said Fitzgerald. “She did ceramics and sewing so I learned a lot from her, but she also bought me pots and pans and decorating tips and my first mixer when I was in high school.”

Fitzgerald earned a degree in education at West Texas A&M and baking became something he did as a hobby for the next twenty-one years, until he and Nevejas started The Cake Guys in their garage.

The business quickly grew and they opened their shop in 2008.

As the popularity of cooking and chef-based shows began to grow, Fitzgerald and Navejas began applying to appear in several of them.

A casting director from TLC called and asked them to try out for Next Great Baker, but there was a catch. They would have to apply that night.

After sending in the video and application the casting agent called back almost immediately and told them it was the best application that they had received so far.

Fitzgerald flew to New York for a screen test and on-camera interview and met with Valastro.

After being selected as a contestant, Fitzgerald got prepared to give his best. Other contestants showed up with minimal equipment, “I shipped thirty-eight boxes. I took anything that could go in a cake; aquarium, strobe lights, anything,” said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald is not at liberty to say how he did, but he did say that he won plenty of competitions. This included his team winning the first challenge with a fairytale cake.

Perhaps Fitzgerald’s biggest challenge was the one he faced after returning home. Fitzgerald decided it was time to retire from teaching and concentrate fully on his baking.

“I was teaching all day, baking until two in the morning, sleeping a few hours, just to start all over again,” says Fitzgerald. “We were told that no matter where we finished that we should expect a jump in business and while I was gone we had to already hire extra people to work in order to keep up with business, so I decided it was time to retire.”

But, Fitzgerald hasn’t disappeared completely from DHS. In fact we found him after he returned from taping the show at a Duncanville Pantherette game where you can see that he’s a huge supporter.

The Next Great Baker can be seen on Mondays on TLC at 8PM central time.