Macy Gerig and Ezra Dixon, twelve year old sixth grade students at Wauseon Middle School, have taken the love of the popular Food Network show Cupcake Wars to the next level. Ezra who loves to bake and watch her favorite show, shared with her friend Macy during fall soccer season, “Someday, I’m going to start my own cupcake business.”
Macy gave it some thought and asked her friend a short while later, “Why don’t we do it now?”
The plotting and planning began. The girls brainstormed for just the right name. Whenever they thought of a possibility, they would search the internet to make sure the name wasn’t taken. Macy shares that Ezra, thinking aloud said, “Picture Perfect. What about Cupcake Perfect?” They checked, and the name didn’t belong to any bakery on the internet. Cupcake Perfect was deemed perfect.
On October 28, 2016, the girls received their first order. Since that first order, the girls have baked over 800 cupcakes for over 60 orders. Their cupcakes and frosting are all homemade using the finest quality ingredients. The girls research recipes on the internet and then tweak them to tailor design the creations for their liking. They offer classic vanilla and chocolate flavors with specialty flavors Oreo fudge, apple cinnamon, S’mores, and peanut butter.
The home based business is a family affair. Ezra’s father Morvin who owns the computer repair store, A Gig Above in Wauseon, has been the technology mastermind behind Cupcake Perfect. He created the website www.cupcakeperfect.com.
The girls are learning many life lessons in business, financial, and legal principles and time management as well as baking skills through their entrepreneurial journey. Both girls assisted with the start-up costs of their business.
For frosting lessons, the girls spent some time with Toni Britton-Harmon, owner of The Upper Crust in Wauseon.
Ezra laughs and shares, “I learned to not touch the oven rack with bare hands!”
In terms of the legal aspects of the business, Macy explains that Cupcake Perfect operates as a cottage business meaning it is a homebased business where everything is made out of a kitchen. To comply with state regulations, all the ingredients must be listed on their products as well as food allergy information.
Macy shares that her mom Jessica Gerig is “food crazy” and has taught them the value of using quality ingredients. Jessica also shares that the girls learned a lesson early on in profit margins in the decision to buy bulk for some of their paper products.
For both parents and girls, balance is important. Besides school and baking, both girls are in soccer and band. They try to limit their baking to only 1-2 nights a week and sometimes on the weekends. Over time, more baking also equates to more efficiency.
“The more we bake, the faster we get,” Macy explains.
Ezra agrees, “We get smarter with our time.” She is quick to share that it is not as easy as one thinks, and she has a better appreciation for the time constraints placed on contestants on The Cupcake Wars. “They (the contestants) do a thousand cupcakes in two hours!”
While they are not quite up to those levels, they have experienced progress. In the beginning, it would take 2 hours to perfect 1 dozen of cupcakes where now they have mastered a dozen in about 45 minutes. Five dozen usually takes around two hours and ten dozen around five hours.
For the girls, Cupcake Perfect is more than just a whimsical childhood hobby. The girls hope to branch out and offer gluten free cupcakes in the future. Other flavor creations swirling around in their minds include lemon, red velvet, and pineapple. Someday, they envision a storefront.
Their parents are proud of their budding entrepreneurs. Morvin states, “I am really proud of them. It’s neat watching them grow. We still have oversight, but they are making a lot of decisions on their own.” The parents monitor the website and all calls are forwarded to parental phones.
For other young budding businessmen and businesswomen, the girls offer their advice. Macy states, “Do something fun and works towards a goal. You have to have a goal to pursue.” Ezra agrees and adds this valuable piece, “Don’t give up, and stick to it. We have hard days, but we keep our heads high and cheer each other on.”
The future of Cupcake Perfect looks sweet on the horizon. The baking business has brought the girls together and they would love for nothing more than to someday be on their beloved show-Cupcake Wars.
For more information and to see their creations, visit www.cupcakeperfect.com. Orders may be placed on the order form on the website or by calling or texting 419-318-8846.
Tammy Allison may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org