Local Illinois health officials shut down 11-year-old's cupcake business

Sixth-grader Chloe Stirling learned a tough lesson about government regulation of small businesses, no matter how delicious they are.
By Evan Bleier  |  Updated Jan. 29, 2014 at 6:56 PM
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TROY, Ill., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The Belleville News-Democrat ran a story about an 11-year-old girl making about $200 a month selling cupcakes that apparently left a bad taste in the mouths of Illinois health officials.

Middle-schooler Chloe Stirling of Troy, Ill., quickly learned a tough lesson about government regulation on small businesses after the story ran on Sunday. Madison County Health Department officials informed her family that the pastry party was over on Monday.

“They called and said they were shutting us down,” said Chloe’s mother, Heather Stirling.

According to the Post-Dispatch, health officials informed the Stirlings that they would have to “buy a bakery or build her a kitchen separate from the one we have” for Chloe to continue selling cupcakes.

“Obviously, we can’t do that,” Heather said. “We’ve already given her a little refrigerator to keep her things in, and her grandparents bought her a stand mixer. But a separate kitchen? Who can do that?”

Chloe was charging $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 specialty cupcakes. "I'm saving for a bakery," Chloe said in the piece that got her into trouble.

“The rules are the rules. It’s for the protection of the public health,” said health department spokeswoman Amy Yeager. “The guidelines apply to everyone. People will react how they choose to react. But it is our job.”

Chloe’s mother indicated she would be willing to get the necessary licenses and permits for her middle-schooler to continue operating her small business -- after a tough lesson on government regulation.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch] [Belleville News-Democrat]

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