Home of Economy-Herald Pie Bake-off's Brityn Proulx makes impression at Valley Senior Living Woodside Village

Proulx is sponsored by Valley Senior Living, of Grand Forks.

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Brityn Proulx, 13, is the youngest contestant in the Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off. She's pictured here with her dad, Joshua Proulx.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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EAST GRAND FORKS — It wasn't a hard sell when the staff at Valley Senior Living persuaded Brityn Proulx to enter the first-ever Greater Grand Forks Pie Bake-off, a contest sponsored this summer by Home of Economy and the Grand Forks Herald.

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The 13-year-old has been bringing cookies to the staff members ever since her father, Josh Proulx, 39, moved into the facility’s Woodside Village as a resident this past spring. He’s battling ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Brityn, who visits her father often, has become familiar with the care community and some of the residents, said Sally Grosgebauer, director of marketing for Valley Living Center.

The youngest of the 16 bakers selected for the contest, Brityn is being sponsored by Valley Senior Living. Grosgebauer expects the competition may be a great experience for both Brityn and her father, "and a memorable time they can spend together as she represents her father’s care community,” she said.

Brityn, who’ll be an eighth-grader this fall at Riverside Christian School, has made “all kinds” of cookies, including chocolate chip and monster cookies, for Woodside Village staff members, she said. “The staff knows I like to bake," she said.


She’s been baking for about a year. Her first pie was a pumpkin pie she made around Thanksgiving time. For the Pie Bake-off, Brityn is considering making a raspberry cream pie, from a recipe she found online, as her first entry.

The bracketed tournament is intended to celebrate and recognize the best pie makers in Greater Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Starting Aug. 22, each of 16 contestants will submit a pie to a panel of judges each week. Based on a set of criteria, provided in advance to the bakers, the judges will select half of the contestants to advance to the following week’s competition – culminating with two finalists on the fourth and final day of competition, Sept. 12.

The bakers will be competing for a first prize worth at least $1,000.

Brityn, like others selected for the contest, was encouraged to start baking by her mom. When Stormi Proulx's oldest two children – son Reese, now 16, and Brityn – were younger, she tried to interest them both in baking, but it was her daughter who really got hooked, she said.

“When (Brityn) got into it, she went for it on her own,” Stormi said, adding that she enjoys sampling her daughter’s treats, but also the aftermath of the baking process.

“When she’s done, you’d never know she was in the kitchen — she cleans up so well.”

Stormi is glad to have such an avid baker in the house.


“I love it when she bakes,” she said. “I always ask if there’s extra” when her daughter bakes a batch of cookies to give away.

Brityn, of East Grand Forks, likes to bake “because it’s calming – and fun,” she said. “Sometimes I’d bake for my classmates. I like baking for other people.”

Related Topics: GFH PIES
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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