While the Summer Olympics may have the eyes of the world, the eyes of Denison were on a different competition on Sunday night. The battle was one of cupcakes, and the hometown favorite was Buffy Hanson, owner of the downtown Denison business Buffy’s Cupcakes.
“I want to win that $10,000 and go home and make my town proud,” Hanson said in an interview on the Food Network reality show “Cupcake Wars.”
The competition, which was filmed several months ago, aired for the first time on Sunday. A watch party, which felt in many ways like a Super Bowl party, was held at the Rialto Theater in downtown Denison.
Folks waited in the 100 plus degree weather for tickets and toughed out a stuffy theater — the air conditioner broke just a few hours before the show — to see just how the hometown favorite would do.
In the end, Hanson only made it past the first round of the three-round competition.
“I feel like I disappointed a town of 30,000 people,” an apologetic Hanson said to the packed theater after the show had ended. Her words were met with a resounding “No” from the audience.
“I wanted so much to make my kids and my town proud,” she said in a later interview. But despite her perception to the contrary, making her town proud seems to be exactly what Buffy did. That pride was evidenced in the cheers that drowned out the “Cupcake Wars” host when Hanson first appeared on the screen, and the applause of support that filled the theater when the audience learned Hanson had not advanced to the final round.
“I’m just so thankful for this town, the customers, and the downtown (community),” Hanson said.
She said this won’t be her final appearance on Food Network and is working on plans to participate in several more shows. In the meantime, she’ll continue to call Denison home and expand her operation to include a food truck in addition to the downtown store front.
“We love Denison,” Hanson said. “We are not leaving Denison.”