Have you seen this? Government Shuts Down 11-Year-Old's Cupcake Business

Business By patticake1951 Updated 7 Feb 2014 , 4:57pm by ellavanilla

patticake1951 Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 8:10pm
post #1 of 17





~~Government Shuts Down 11-Year-Old's Cupcake Business 

Thursday, February 6 2014, 09:36 AM CST

An 11-year-old girl got a tough lesson in government bureaucracy when her custom cupcake business got shut down by the health department after an article about her success ran in the local newspaper. Chloe Stirling started baking cupcakes and selling them for $2 each after she took a class at a local Michael's craft store.

"After that one class I just started making them because I loved doing it," said Chloe. Chloe's mom, Heather Stirling, offered to match her industrious daughter's savings from what she earned on her cupcake sales to buy a car when Chloe turns 16.

But Chloe's sweet success turned to bitter disappointment when her mom got a call from the health department saying that she wasn't allowed to bake and sell anymore because she didn't have a business license or certified kitchen to bake in.

When Megyn Kelly asked Chloe what her reaction was to being told she couldn't continue to do what she loved, the 11-year-old baker responded, "I was kind of bummed that I couldn't bake anymore, and that I had to cancel all of my orders.

The health department told Chloe's mom that she had two options: She could buy a bakery for her daughter's use, or she could build a second kitchen in her home that would then have to be certified. "Neither of those are very viable options for us," Healther Stirling said.

For now, Chloe isn't sure what the future of her business will be, but she's keeping her chin up. "We're trying to figure out a way that I can follow all the rules and still get to bake and sell stuff," Chloe said.

16 replies
MBalaska Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 8:48pm
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A couple of thoughts…… some seemingly contradictory:


When you’re warm, happy, safe and successful Keep your big mouth shut so you don’t draw too much attention to yourself.


There’s probably a legal adult owned cake business in town that has lost business to a child subsidized by mommy.


Megyn Kelly is a lawyer and knows perfectly well that if it’s illegal it doesn’t matter how the kid feels about it.  It’s illegal to rob banks also, let's not start doing that for fun and profit.


They call it a custom cake business, in emphasizing the business part, are they paying taxes, cause I really do love it when someone else picks up part of that obnoxious Adult burdon with me.


It's great to have children learning, baking, becoming responsible;  but with the profit comes cost, responsibility and citizenship.


You get the Government that you deserve.  A lot of empty headed people rejoice over the wrong things.

Norasmom Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 9:02pm
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It's not cute, it's illegal but she was not aware of that fact.  Happy to hear she is going to try to get legal somehow.  Perhaps in the meantime she can raise money doing something legal, such as watering plants, walking dogs, babysitting, inventing something cool to sell…she'll find a way.  She shouldn't be heartbroken knowing about the law.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 9:02pm
post #4 of 17


Original message sent by MBalaska

It's great to have children learning, baking, becoming responsible;  but with the profit comes cost, responsibility and citizenship.

There were so many wonderful things in that post to quote. I chose the one most important to this specific topic.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 9:03pm
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illinois has cottage food laws where she can sell at farmer's markets so she has a chance to build a better mouse trap too--

patticake1951 Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 10:12pm
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I just thought it is was interesting. some of the facebook   replies went from saying that they should just leave her alone and let her do it like it was having a lemonade stand, to she shouldn't be doing it at all.

This is some of them.

"~~Leave her alone. They would probably rather she learn how to beat people out of money. Or hope she depends on the government."

"~~In TN you can sell 'home baked' goods as long as it is labeled "This product was made in a private home not licensed or inspected.", and it has to have ingredients listed. It's not fair:"

"~~ She needs to follow some health standards. (Not saying she isn't ) but, when dealing with foods..you have ppl with allergies, if they got sick, etc. , her parents could be sued out the wazoo. As far as the government goes, she isn't old enough to pay taxes yet, so, they can't reap the benefits from her."

:~~I hope all the schools, fire departments, churches, police departments stop holding bake sales! I would hate for them to get in trouble! <SARCASM> For a "free" country, we are heavily regulated by our government!"

"~~Why should she be able to bypass health codes just cause she is a child?? Kids don't think about germs and Bactria and much as SOME adults do."




I can't find out what state she is in, but there is the cfl here in TN. I agree she should go through a food safety course though.  I know we have to have a permit for selling foods  at craft fairs.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 10:17pm
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i think she's in troy illinois--close to st. louis, mo

-K8memphis Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 10:29pm
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yeah i saw somewhere that megyn kelly was reporting on this so i guess it's been on cable news too--

-K8memphis Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 11:45pm
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idk mb--i'm sure she can quote some, veni vidi vici without me piping up--hahaha


besides i mean how diligent are the above average 11 year olds these days--


it was hard enough to get my kids up on time, out the door, dressed properly with the school books they brought home the night before, most of the homework done--i couldn't imagine having to nudge them along to get their cupcake orders fulfilled--oh eghads ;)


maybe her parents are rejoicing?

craftybanana Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 3:00am
post #13 of 17

This type of headline/news story irks me. The only time people complain about someone who gets told they're breaking the rules is when it's kids breaking the rules. The headline screams the forever political "Oh! Not the children! We must do something about this immediately!" I wish people would stop using children as an excuse when they don't like something. There are plenty of other ways for her to sell cupcakes and the like without it being a major issue. Why not at neighborhood garage sales or school bake sales? There are too many things in place to keep adults from harming others in the food business world, so if anything the parents should be getting the finger, not her. There are plenty of ways for kids to make money under the table, and yes even babysitting is considered a business in some states (need a certifications/license) but no one really cares as long as it's not in the newspaper.


Edited for spelling errors.

CakersbyEggers Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 4:15am
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When I saw this on TV when Megyn Kelly reported it the first thing out of my mouth was, "why shouldn't she have to follow the rules" and "why on God's green Earth did her mother not think to research it at least a little". As a parent, if my child wanted to start a legitimate business with food or anything else I would have looked up any laws, etc. that might possibly need to be adhered too. When I moved to Illinois and realized I could no longer do my home cake business as I had been in Iowa, I stopped. I looked for ways to abide by the laws, but was unable to afford any of the options. Since I could not afford the options I no longer had my business. It was a good lesson for the girl. Now she hopefully understands that there are rules everywhere that are important to research and follow.

cakesbycathy Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 4:20pm
post #15 of 17

I saw the story on Yahoo.

In defense of the mom...I'm going to guess she had NO idea this could be illegal.  Many, many bakers jump into business without first researching whether or not it's something that's allowed in their state.  Not because they want to ignore the law, but because it never even occurs to them that it might not be allowed.  I know when I first started selling cakes I didn't have a clue it could be illegal and I didn't even think to check until I had been doing it for a couple of months and someone flat out asked me if it was legal to sell cakes from my home.  I'm guessing this started out as something small and grew from there.  Not trying to give them an excuse.  Just saying that's a reality.


Frankly (and I'm a mom of 3), I'm glad to see the health dept. shut her down.  They should have.  It's their job and it doesn't matter if she's just a kid.  She (and mom) needs to learn you still have to follow the rules AND the rules exist for a reason, not because the health dept doesn't want you to earn money.  Not to mention, mom and dad have way less risk of someone suing the pants off them because they claim they got sick.


I read some of the comments and I was pleasantly surprised that many people seem to agree with the decision to shut her down and understand the reasons why a kitchen should be inspected (allergies, pet hair, etc.).

patticake1951 Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 4:35pm
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I totally agree with you. The rules are there for a reason. I think the mom should have done more research on it too.

ellavanilla Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 4:57pm
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this is how the cottage food production law was spurred into creation here in California. A local bread maker, who baked from home, was shut down after the LA Times did a story on his business. His local representative saw the story and penned the law we have now. 



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