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Amanda Wilbanks, owner of Gainesville’s Southern Baked Pie Co., has won the grand prize in UGA’s 2016 Flavor of Georgia Contest with her caramel pecan pie.

Southern Baked Pie Co. was formerly called Buttermilk Pie Company and is located on Broad Street in Gainesville.

The annual contest, conducted by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is a chance for food businesses to showcase their new products.

A team of food industry experts and grocery buyers chose Wilbanks’ caramel pecan pie as the best of 33 finalists. They rated the products on qualities including innovation, use of Georgia theme, market potential and flavor.

In addition to the grand prize, Wilbanks also won first place in the confections category.

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director J. Scott Angle congratulated the category and grand prize winners as part of Georgia Agriculture Awareness Day at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.

“We had over 100 products submitted this year and some of the toughest competition we’ve seen in the contest’s 10-year history,” said Sharon P. Kane, Flavor of Georgia contest coordinator. “The 33 products represented today are truly the best of the best.”

Posted Online 3/16/16