The cupcake business is cutthroat. If you’re not up to snuff, then you’ll be back out on the street with your baking sheets and unused icing. One 11-year-old found that out the hard way after Illinois health officials decided to shut down her cupcake operation for breaking state regulations.
Chloe Stirling began Hey Cupcake as a way to save money for a car when she turned 16. Her family even helped her ger started, with her grandparents buying a mixer and her mom agreeing to match the savings Chloe made from the business. Since setting up Hey Cupcake two years ago, Chloe was making $80 a week. Her largest order had been from a charity, for 220 cupcakes.
But then the health department came knocking.
After the 11-year-old was profiled in a front-page article in the Belleville News Democrat, local officials decided to look into her baking practices. As it turns out, Chole needed a separate kitchen and permits in order to operate Hey Cupcake. Her mom told the St. Louis Dispatcher that she had “already given [Chloe] a little refrigerator to keep her things in. But a separate kitchen? Who can do that?”
Who, indeed, health department? Who, indeed?
“If we let one person do it, how can we tell the person with 30 cats in their home that they can't do it? A line has to be drawn,” said one health official, who supported the decision.
OK, they bring up a good point. We have no idea if this 11-year-old girl had a horde of cats sitting in her kitchen while she was baking. Therefore, the only way to handle the situation was to shut everything down.
Luckily, since the decision, several local bakeries have offered Chloe the use of their kitchens (perhaps Anna Kendrick will reach out to help, too). Until she gets things back up and running again, head over to the Belleville News Democrat for photos of some of Chloe’s creations.
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