KALAMAZOO, MI — Layla Wallace, 15, served up cupcakes and other baked goods to customers on the first day of curbside pickup service at a new Kalamazoo bakery she recently opened with her mother.
Layla’s Cool Pops opened for curbside service for the first time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1336 Portage St. on Friday, May 22.
Wallace is a student at Portage Central High School and co-owns the businesses with her mother, Luchara Wallace.
Triple chocolate, lemon drop and strawberry were some of the most popular cupcake choices on Friday, Layla said. The bakery sold out of cupcakes on the first day of curbside service. Cake pops, available for custom orders, are also popular, she said.
The teenager sets the direction for which products the business will offer and how they will be prepared. Using spoons instead of machines for mixing is a part of the recipes Layla developed, her mother said.
The business received a grant of about $2,300 from the city of Kalamazoo’s Business Development Fund in 2020, Luchara Wallace said. They used the money for technical assistance, such as in setting up a website and social media accounts, and for signage, she said.
The business made a $50 donation to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes on Friday, she said, and plan to make weekly donations to organizations that fight homelessness.
“I feel like I’ve gotten what I’ve needed and wanted, and they don’t get what I get to have,” Layla said of her desire to help homeless people. “I care about them because we’re all people and we all need certain things and sometimes they can’t get what they need.”
She thanked the community for its support.
“I’m ready to make a difference,” Layla said.
The teen’s interest in baking began in elementary school. She sold baked goods out of the family’s home and used some of the money she made from sales to make donations to organizations to help support homeless people, her mother said.
Her plans continued into her teenage years, and the mother-daughter duo found a place to establish the bakery on Portage Street, where they held some events with limited hours in the past two years.
They planned to open the storefront for regular weekly hours in March, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had on businesses changed their plans. The bakery pivoted, opening instead on Friday, May 22, offering curbside service under COVID-19 outbreak guidelines.
To learn more and to place an order before visiting the storefront, visit the business on Facebook.
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Source: Thanks https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2020/05/kalamazoo-bakery-runs-on-ideas-cooked-up-by-15-year-old-entrepreneur.html