ST. GEORGE — A 35-year-old baker in Colorado City, Arizona is in the running to win the title of “The Greatest Baker” in an online international baking competition.
The winner will receive worldwide recognition as The Greatest Baker of 2020, a year’s supply of Stuffed Puffs, be featured in Bake from Scratch magazine and take home $10,000. Unlike other baking competitions, the winner is selected solely through public vote. People can vote on the website and may vote once a day, every day, until Thursday when the competition ends.
Though the competition has been in progress for several weeks now, Mary Lou Timpson told St. George News she only recently entered the competition.
“So far, I’m in third place, so I’m just trying to keep the votes coming in.”
Timpson said she thinks her rise to the top is due to word-of-mouth. Aside from being a mother of five, she is also the owner of Mary Lou’s Cake Studio, which she runs out of her home in Colorado City. She is well-known for her custom-made cakes and dessert spreads for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations.
She said she was just 8 years old when her passion for baking sparked.
“I was going to the library and picking out cookbooks and wedding cake books. It was just always a dream as a little girl, that I was eventually going to have a wedding cake shop or run my own bakery,” she said.
Though she never had any formal training or took any classes, her dream came true 10 years ago when she started her cake studio. Since then, she said she has built a significant local following and a majority of her clients are from St. George and Hurricane.
Her signature cake is Peach Champagne Cake.
“It’s just a white delicate cake, and it’s perfect for weddings,” she said. “Some people see the name and it gets overlooked, but once they try it, they’re like, ‘Oh, wow — this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever had in my life.'”
But beyond flavor, her favorite part of the process is in the final stage of design.
“The part when I get to treat it like it’s a piece of art,” she said, adding that she also loved other visual arts growing up, like drawing, and with baking, she gets to combine both.
Because the style of cake is continually switching, she said she never gets bored with baking. She also finds joy in the collaboration with her clients. From the flavor of the cake to the design, she has the opportunity to bring her clients’ visions to reality.
“Every cake is different. Every client is different,” she said. “I like to treat every client as if they’re not just buying a cake, they’re buying an experience.”
When it comes to the competition, aside from the glory of receiving national recognition, Timpson said the $10,000 would help her to buy a new convection oven, more fridge and freezer space, and other needed tools so she can continue to grow her business.
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