Health Department Shuts Down 11-Year-Old’s Cupcake Business

The Health Department of
Madison County, Illinois on Sunday shut down a baking operation run
by an 11-year-old girl.

Chloe Stirling may be young, but she’s already developed serious
culinary and small business skills. She began an enterprise, called
“Hey, Cupcake!,” out of her family’s kitchen two years ago.
According to the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch
, the sixth grader earns around $200 a month
selling her baked goods. Stirling hopes to use her income to
one day open her own bakery. Her mother, Heather, also offered to
match the money Stirling makes to buy a car when she turns
16. Additionally, “she has donated many to charitable events,
including a fundraiser for a student with cancer and, most
recently, taking some to residents at a senior care center,”

the Belleville News-Democrat.

The desserts didn’t sit well with the local government, though.
The health department called Stirling’s parents and demanded that
the girl cease operations, because she was violating
the Illinois
State Food Service Code
. Stirling lacked the necessary permit
and the kitchen wasn’t properly licensed.

“The guy told me I either had to buy her a bakery or put in a
second kitchen (in the house),” Stirling’s mother

How did the sleuths at the health department discover this
renegade baker? She was on the
front page
of the local news. The News-Democrat
wanted to highlight Stirling’s entrepreneurship, so they wrote a
feature about her.

Health Promotion Manager Amy Yeager told the
Post-Dispatch, “The rules are the rules. It’s for the
protection of the public health. The guidelines apply to everyone.”
When asked whether it was worth the potential poor public
relations, she said, “People will react how they choose to react.
But it is our job.”

The sixth grade scofflaw doesn’t blame the department for
finally catching up with her code-violating behavior. She told

, “Well, I think it’s just the rules are rules and they
kind of need to be followed. I really don’t blame the health
department because it’s not really their fault.”

This isn’t the first time law enforcement has tackled little
criminals. Reason has covered
regulation-dodging lemonade runners,
one of which had cancer,
and even a zucchini
black marketeer

from Hit & Run

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