Lockport bakery owner competing in national The Greatest Baker contest

Megan DiCaro hopes to move up. Voting for the top 10 ends Thursday at 9 p.m.

Megan DiCaro stands next to the  bakery case inside her Springview Sweets bakery.

Lockport — Megan DiCaro, the owner of Lockport’s Springview Sweets Bakery, has made it into the top 20 of her group for the national Greatest Baker competition and is poised to move into the top 15.

DiCaro opened Springview Sweets in October in the old Lockport train station on 13th Street and was entered into the contest – run by “Cake Boss” star and celebrity baker Buddy Valestro – as a surprise by her mother, Margaret Obodzinski.

DiCaro baked as a hobby for years and had entered the competition before but did not advance to the voting rounds until this year after she opened Springview Sweets.

“This was actually the first year I didn’t enter for myself because I had so much going on,” DiCaro said. “My mom entered for me, and a few months later I got an email saying I had been accepted into the competition. It was a huge surprise.”

DiCaro was motivated to take up baking professionally after losing her grandmother to brain cancer in March.

“She was the big baker in the family,” DiCaro said. “She was my best friend. When she passed, I just started baking. I quit my job managing a dental office and decided to start baking professionally. I figured if she’s up there watching over me, she’ll let it work out.”

Springview Sweets bakery is located in the old Lockport Train Station at 133 W 13th Street.

Bakers from around the country are divided into groups of 50 participants, and voters online can support who they think is the best baker. After the first of nine rounds, the top 20 from each group move on, and then the top 15 are selected in each group in round two.

DiCaro is in first place in her group for the second round and voting for the top 10 ends at 9 p.m. (Central Time) on Thursday.

There are nine weeklong voting rounds before one winner is selected from the entire country in February. The winner of the contest receives $10,000 in prize money and a feature in Bake From Scratch magazine.

“The money is the last part of this for me,” DiCaro said. “I would want to keep some of it to put back into growing the business, but I’m at a place now where I can give back to the community, and I would want to donate some of the money to brain cancer research.”

DiCaro already has worked to contribute to the cause that means so much to her family. After opening Springview Sweets, she connected with DJ Scotty Kay at US 99 Chicago and offered to name a cookie after him.

Kay promoted the bakery and the cookie after the pair agreed that a portion of the proceeds would go to support BrainUp, the same nonprofit DiCaro plans to donate some of her winnings to if she’s named the Greatest Baker champion.

“It would mean so much to me to win,” DiCaro said. “It’s been so amazing and meant so much to see how much this has grown already and how it’s brought people together. The community has been wonderful. I’m just so grateful to have this opportunity.”