Cassopolis’ Richey competing in national ‘Greatest Baker’ contest

Published 2:55 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

DOWAGIAC — A Cassopolis resident is in the running to be named the “Greatest Baker” in a national competition.

Baker Christina Richey is hoping she can get enough votes to make it to the finals of “The Greatest Baker” contest. According to Richey, she is now one of 24 bakers remaining out of more than 60,000 competitors. 

“This is just phenomenal,” Richey said. “I’m here, I just can’t believe it. I never dreamed I’d get this far.”

According to its website, The Greatest Baker is a free-to-enter, tournament-style competition where participants go through rounds and those with the most votes in those rounds move on.

“To win, one must leverage the power of social media and word-of-mouth advertising to garner the support of the public to vote,” the website reads.

At the conclusion, the 2023 Greatest Baker will take home a $10,000 cash prize, share their work in Bake from Scratch and have a meet and greet with television personality Buddy Velastro of “Cake Boss” fame.

“If I could meet Buddy, that would be awesome,” Richey said.

In addition, The Greatest Baker fundraising campaign aims to unite a community of passionate bakers while championing a significant cause—the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation

The B+ Foundation is the largest provider of financial assistance to families of kids with cancer in the United States. It funds research to find cures for childhood cancers and advancements in treatment protocols. More than $1.5 million from the 2022 Greatest Baker Competition in support of its mission.

Baking has been a lifelong passion for Richey, who grew up in Dowagiac helping her grandmother bake and baked her first cake solo when she was 15. Since then, she has competed in several competitions and took home first place in the 2016 Michigan Birthday Bake-off sponsored by The Awesome Mitten, a media company dedicated to promoting Michigan.

“Cakes are my specialty,” Richey said. “I’ve done tons of wedding cakes and shows at the Devos Place (in Grand Rapids, Michigan).

In addition, Richey has taught 4H in Cass County. She is excited to be representing her community on a national level.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “I’ve lived here my whole life. If a small town girl can do it, that’s what I’m excited about.”

According to Richey, the community response has been positive. Her Facebook group “Vote Christina For Greatest Baker,” created to keep friends, fans and family in the loop, has more than 360 members and counting.

Readers can vote for Richey here. Voting for finalists ends at 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25. According to the competition’s website, people can vote once every 24 hours for free and if you make a donation every dollar you donate will count as a vote. Tomorrow, one donation will give two votes.

Richey said that if she were to win, she would take her daughter-in-law to the photo shoot for all of the help she has provided over the years.