By ANGELA KRAFT
Special to The North Cass Herald
Lesly Hobbs has worked her way into the quarterfinals of the largest online nationwide baking contest. There are only two rounds left before they announce the winner of The Greatest Baker, and Hobbs is in the top 1 percent of around 25,000 entrees.
Each round of winners is determined by an online public vote. She has won first place in the past three rounds. In this round, she is up against 16 other bakers. She has been teetering between first and third place. Voting for this round ends this Thursday, Nov. 26, at 10 p.m. local time.
Hobbs entered the contest to show her kids that one can be self-taught and still live their dream. She started baking over five years ago when her diagnosis of fibromyalgia kept her from working outside of the home.
On the contest website, she describes her secret to baking as, “to help others make their day amazing because it is so rewarding and gives you more drive to keep going and get better.”
As a baker and a Belton citizen, she is often found giving back to her community by giving cake profits to families in need. She recently collected donations to give three families in need a Thanksgiving meal.
This is the first contest she has entered her baking talents in. She said she did apply to be on the Netflix original series “Nailed It!” before the pandemic hit. Her future hopes for her business are to grow her customer base so that she could increase her giving to families in need. One of her favorite cakes was of Ariel from The Little Mermaid that she donated to a girl in Raymore.
If she wins The Greatest Baker contest, she’ll be featured in Bake from Scratch magazine, receive a year’s supply of Stuffed Puffs, and $10,000. There are 16 groups in the quarter-finals and one person from each group will go on to the semi-finals before the final round.
Public voting will determine the winner on Dec. 10. Anyone with a valid Facebook account gets 1 free vote per 24-hour period. You can also purchase votes with 25 percent of the proceeds going to "No Kid Hungry,” a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. To vote for Hobbs, go to https://greatestbaker.com/2020/lesly-hobbs.
You can view and place orders for her cakes by visiting her business Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bakedbylesly.