You’re never too young to make political changes in your country. Skeptical? Well here’s the story of a little girl who did just that.
Twelve year old Chloe Stirling’s story with cupcakes started when she was about nine. She whipped up her melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes mostly for friends, relatives and fundraisers. Making about $80 a week, her plan is to purchase a car when she turns 16. To reach that goal, her parents are encouraging her by matching each dollar she earns.
However, her roller coaster ride started one day when she donated some of her artistically made cupcakes to one of the nursing homes in her town. Someone took a picture of her work and sent it to a magazine to be published in an article about her. Her business bloomed! She received many orders for cupcakes through Facebook and e-mails, but that was when an anonymous reader of Belleville News-Democrat magazine informed the Madison County Health Department about her small but growing kitchen business. Since her kitchen was not certified, Chloe’s parents were told that their talented little girl could no longer bake and sell to the public.
The Illinois State Food Sanitation Code sets out specific rules and regulations for selling and distributing food. One of these rules is to work in a kitchen that meets certain health and safety requirements.
Now many adults would feel discouraged when facing such bad news. It would seem like having a successful business at a very young age was just too good to be true and that the recent turn of events was just an expected and accepted part of reality. But not to the determined little Chloe and her supportive parents.
Instead of surrendering and submitting, the family decided to add a commercially licensed kitchen to their home. They found out that they need to build an addition to the kitchen and so they gathered enough support from suppliers and vendors in order to do that.
Meanwhile, Chloe and her parents appeared on FOX News, The Kelly File, Yahoo.com , Aol.com and Time.com putting her in the limelight nationwide. She appeared on many local networks in the U.S. as well as TV shows in Canada, which led a local friend to create a gofundme site to help Chloe’s family raise money to build a commercial kitchen.
All this media attention got the Rachel Ray Show’s producers to contact one of Chloe’s supporters and family members, Jason Spengler, to discuss his plans to help the little girl build a new kitchen. On a top-secret mission, Jason worked with the Rachel Ray Show producers to choose the best appliances that would meet health department codes for a commercially licensed kitchen. When Chloe and her parents appeared on the Rachel Ray Show, Rachel and Buddy Valastro, of Cake Boss surprised her with an Oven/Range, Double Wall Oven, Microwave, Hood, and a GE Profile Refrigerator, which have been selected by Spengler to go into her new kitchen. Right after the airing of the show, Spengler surprised Chloe with the news that Spengler Plumbing, Heating and Cooling will be in charge of building “Chloe’s Cupcake Kitchen” so that she has a place for all of her new kitchen appliances.
Spengler’s extended his support to Chloe by presenting Triad Middle School with a gift of $500 in her name. This was done to honor her fellow classmates who sold hundreds of Hey Cupcake T-shirts to express their love and support to Chloe.
Now here’s what most of you have been waiting for! Chloe’s parents testified to the House Committee in an attempt to introduce a legislation in order to change the Illinois Cottage Laws, which will allow for small baking businesses to operate out of their homes. After that, they were able to meet the governor who had a taste of her delicious cupcakes, and a couple of months later, they found out that the bill had passed. The governor paid them a visit and signed the bill into law in Chloe’s kitchen! The new bill was named “Cupcake Bill.”
This little trooper’s strong spirit and invincible determination are so inspiring! So, next time you feel like it’s over and that’s it just wasn’t meant to be, think again! If Chloe Stirling can make changes to achieve her dream, so can you!
Watch Chloe Stirling tell her story on the Steve Harvey Show: