2019 was a big year for the baking industry, as it continued to grow its ranks and be shaped by the latest trends. The digital age is fully upon us, and that has been reflected by industry leaders such as Bellegarde Bakery in New Orleans and Porto’s Bakery & Café in California who have adapted to what consumers want. This year also witnessed a major shift in food and beverages, as cannabis made its way into the mainstream and sustainability became a much bigger part of the process.

The 2019 edition of the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), the most comprehensive baking industry expo in the Western Hemisphere, took place in September in Las Vegas. The largest IBIE in the show’s history highlighted the best of the industry and gave a fantastic preview of what’s to come in the future.

“IBIE continues to provide the platform for the entire baking community to gather and celebrate the vibrancy of this industry, innovative trends and digital automation technologies, advances in baking processes and the thousands of bakers and support services who have a passion and commitment to the success of this industry,” said Joe Turano, IBIE chairman.

These are just a few of the stories our readers enjoyed over the past 12 months. The following is our list of the top stories of 2019.

IBIE 2019 proves a record-shattering event with education and innovation

Nearly 1,000 exhibitors (237 new to IBIE) and the largest show floor in history allowed this year’s event to break records for growth. More than 20,000 professionals walked the exhibit hall and attended education sessions, with attendance from bakers up ten percent from the previous expo.

A journey to influential bakeries in Colorado’s cannabis capital

In late winter, we traveled to Denver to see how cannabis bakeries Sweet Grass Kitchen and Love's Oven are breaking new ground in the cannabis-infused edibles industry.

The Digital Baker: Adapting to the new consumer age

Research shows that consumers prefer using websites and social media when determining where to shop. Learning how to navigate this online world is important for today's retail bakery.

The magic of Milk Bar

Christina Tosi has built a baking empire through innovation. The owner of Milk Bar shares a secret to her incredible success — relentless curiosity.

Greg Wade wins James Beard’s Outstanding Baker 2019

Wade, whose Publican Quality Bread resides in Chicago, is a multiple-time nominee for the award. Under his leadership, the bakery crafts beautiful whole grain long fermented breads fresh daily. Publican Quality Bread is seen as a leader in the local grain movement.

From Football Franchise to Cupcake Franchise

Following exceptional NFL careers, former Tennessee Titans Brian Orakpo and Michael Griffin wanted a new challenge. They've found that, along with great success, with Gigi's Cupcakes in Bee Cave, Texas.

SLIDESHOW: National Bakery Day 2019 Promotions

National Bakery Day took place Friday, September 27 across the country. See what some bakeries did to promote the special day in this slideshow.

Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest announces 2019 grand prize winner

In the 49th edition of its beloved Bake-Off Contest, Pillsbury awarded the grand prize to Melissa Jollands of Hudsonville, Michigan for her pub-style Dublin Cheeseboard-Stuffed Appetizer Bread recipe and her inspiration behind the recipe.

National Restaurant Association releases What’s Hot 2019 culinary forecast

The Association’s annual survey of chefs looked to identify food and beverage trends for 2019. Approximately 650 chefs, all American Culinary Federation members, predicted what would be prevalent on menus for the year. Among the top trends were cannabis and CBD-infused foods and beverages.

WWII veteran opens boozy bakery at the age of 93

Ray Boutwell, a mess cook in the U.S. Navy during World War 2 and a former bakery owner, debuted Ray’s Boozy Cupcakes in October. The 93-year-old’s new venture in Voorhees, New Jersey offers alcohol-infused cupcakes.