For Amiee Blevins, "life is what you bake of it."

Now, the Coos Bay native and Oregon Bakery owner is hoping to make a winner out of what she bakes.

As part of the annual online "Greatest Baker" competition, Blevins is competing against bakers from around the country to raise donations for No Kid Hungry, a nationwide nonprofit fighting childhood hunger.

She's also hoping that the prize money could help her come to the city she calls home.

"I miss family," Blevins said. "2020 has been very challenging with COVID, especially in the restaurant business."

Blevins grew up in Coos Bay and graduated from Marshfield High School in 1994. But for the last 26 years, she and her husband, Jason, have lived outside the area — 10 years ago, they started a bakery in Portland, before moving it to The Dalles, where they've been since.

There, they ran the bakery, SweetHeart Bakeshop, out of the ground floor of their home, and gained quite a following, as well as some accolades along the way, Blevins said.

But now, with some of Blevins' family planing to move back to the area, they're headed back to Coos Bay — and they're bringing their bakery, too.

"We decided this is not only a celebration coming home again, but a chance to do something new, fun and different with our bakery," Blevins said, adding that she'd be adding a "big surprise" to the new location.

The online bakers' competition comes with a $10,000 prize that would help with the bakery move, Blevins said. But she's also excited about the prospect of being named the winner of the nationwide competition.

"It would help validate my life's work that I've been dedicated to for the past 10 years," she said.

Votes can be cast in the third round of the competition until 8 p.m. Thursday. Competition officials will announce Friday afternoon if Blevins was in her group's top spot after that round — if so, she'll move on to the final round, which ends at 8 p.m. Nov. 26.

Votes and donations to No Kid Hungry can be made online at greatestbaker.com/2020/amiee-blevins.

Reporter Zack Demars can be reached at worldnews3@countrymedia.net.

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