Record-setting cake for Guildford Town Centre’s 50th anniversary

Giant carrot cake to be served on Nov. 8, exactly 50 years after mall's official opening

The “Great Guildford Roller Derby” of 1979 was held near the long-gone Woodward’s store at Guildford Town Centre.

SURREY — One giant carrot cake will be served to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Guildford Town Centre next week.

The 2.25-tonne slab crafted by Saint Germain Bakery is set to break a world record because, well, no such record exists.

A special cake-cutting event will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8 – exactly 50 years after the centre officially opened at the corner of 104th Avenue and 152nd Street.

On that day in 1966, close to 15,000 people streamed through the region’s newest, most spectacular shopping centre, home to “30 ultra-modern specialty shops and businesses,” according to a full-page ad in the broadsheet Columbian newspaper, the Now’s predecessor.


An opening-week sale at the Woodward’s department store featured a Kodak Instamatic camera (with one flash cube) for $14.88, men’s dress shirts for $2.99 and nylon tubeless winter tires for $18.88 each.

Other first tenants included Macnaughton Realty, Sherwin-Williams Paints, Orange Julius, Pacific Plywood Building Centre, Sparlings Winter Sports and Stardust roller rink.

When planning for the mall began in the early 1960s, developer Grosvenor-Laing envisioned the birth of a new “satellite city” in the forested area of Surrey.

Guildford was named after the cathedral city in England, the business and administration centre of the County of Surrey. Rather than “shopping centre,” the description of “town centre” was used because that’s what planners had envisioned.

Today, the Ivanhoé Cambridge-owned mega-mall is home to 250 stores, services and restaurants. Last renovated and expanded in 2013, Guildford Town Centre has become a magnet for close to 14.5 million shoppers annually. Anchor tenants include Hudson’s Bay, Walmart, Sears and London Drugs.

PICTURED: Mickey Zhao makes the giant carrot cake. Submitted photo

Mickey Zhao, head baker and co-owner of the mall’s Saint Germain Bakery, began baking the carrot cake on Sunday (Oct. 30) with the help of staff at the company’s production facility in Richmond.

“The cake is going to be big, enough for 23,000 people,” he said.

Zhao said he’s donating the food and labour costs – an estimated $20,000 to $25,000.

“If we sold this cake to a customer, it’d be for $100,000 or more,” Zhao said. “The recognition for it will be nice.”

Tuesday’s anniversary event, which gets going at 12:30 p.m., will include a visit by a Guinness World Records rep, according to Kyla Way, the centre’s marketing director.

“We thought this was a great opportunity for us to be the first ones to make the world’s largest carrot cake, and we have a contest along with that,” she said.

The first 1,000 people at the event will have a chance to win “karats” in the form of a $1,000 shopping spree at one of the mall’s jewelry stores.

A third of the cake, to measure 20 feet by 20 feet, will be donated to NightShift Street Ministries, a Surrey-based charity, Way added.

Newspaper clipping shows construction of Guildford Town Centre.

Newspaper clipping from the mid-1960s.

View of an old hallway in the mall.

The old movie theatre.

A ‘Vancouver Sun’ Petting Zoo.

Play area for kids.

Visiting Santa at the mall.

The Woodward’s Food Floor parcel-pickup area.

The old Woodward’s store in an undated photo.

Members of the B.C. Lions hit the stage.

Barney the Dinosaur at a special event.

The first sign outside Guildford Town Centre.

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