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11-year-old's 'business' shut down by health department

11-Year-Old's Cupcake Business Shut Down

Chloe Stirling, 11, didn't mean to make the news. All she wanted to do was make some cupcakes.

Chloe was saving to buy a car (her mom promised to match whatever she raised by the time she was 16) and only sold her treats to friends and family.

Then, a local newspaper ran a story about Chloe and the Madison County Health Department shut her down.

In the state of Illinois, you can't prepare food out of your home for the public without a certified kitchen. Chloe would have to cook up her cupcakes in a separate location, or the Stirlings would need to build an additional kitchen onto their home if Chloe wanted to keep selling her treats legally. She estimates that she made about a hundred cupcakes before getting the ax.

Even if Chloe wanted to get the necessary permits, she isn't old enough to take the classes.

The original story on Chloe's cupcakes was supposed to be a 'feel good' report about a delivery of her snacks to a local nursing home, but 'it caught the attention of the wrong people, and all this happened,' Chloe's mom explained.

Chloe and her mom refuse to place blame on any one person at the health department and totally understand why Chloe was shut down.

For now, Chloe's family is trying to find a space where she can keep the local government off her back and legally whip up batches of her beloved Oreo-stuffed cupcakes.

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alaskafaye February 05 2014 at 8:01 PM

What makes her business any more special than other businesses that have to follow regulations? You know, those small businesses with owners who have kids to feed and clothe, or send to college; mortgages and utilities to pay...that kind of stuff. AND, the moment someone gets sick or dies from samonella, e coli, or some other food poisoning from one of her cupcakes, everyone (even her mom who will be afraid of being sued) will say it's the state's fault, because they did not make her follow regulations.

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karen and pitts February 05 2014 at 1:07 PM

hey gm. get off the shnide and give her a car! com on man..

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Eric February 05 2014 at 10:16 AM

Guess you can't just have a lemonade stand anymore can you?

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shesova February 05 2014 at 7:49 AM

She is almost at her goal. Check out her site on gofundme.com
What a terrific story!

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pfuzell February 05 2014 at 2:14 AM

Unfortunate story about her cupcake business, but those that believe all licensed food businesses are always compliant are mistaken. I walked into a buffet restaurant I go to often. The counter woman was sweeping the floor, but stopped and went back behind the buffet when I came in. She walked to the visible sink and rinsed her hands briefly under the water. When she came to take my order and serve my food, I respectfully asked her to wash her hands with soap and water because she'd been sweeping the floor. Her facial expression indicated she didn't like my request but she complied. I've only been back once since then and it was reluctantly due to immediate hunger. Given what violations could be happening in other restaurants that we don't know about, the only option is to never eat out or take your chances and hope you don't get sick.

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sequestereddems February 05 2014 at 12:40 AM

Illinois is an over-regulated corrupt state.They have thier hands in everything and she should have just bribed an official with some cupcakes.Thats how it works in Illinois.Most of their former governors are in prison.

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quiltchase February 05 2014 at 4:41 PM

HA! You must live in or near Cook Co. to know how the "system" works. I wonder how many cupcakes it would take to bribe the officials.

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pam February 04 2014 at 11:34 PM

most peoples kitchen are cleaner than bakery or restuarants kitchens why dont they go after them

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jelun February 04 2014 at 11:45 PM

Well no, no they aren't.
Those places are checked by health departments. They also have to get business licenses, they have to pay taxes, pay rent, insurance.
It is pretty strange that this little girl understands all those things and yet you don't.

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tinktm18 February 05 2014 at 12:50 AM

I concur, 11 is too young to understand health codes. I see she and mom hesitated to state how much she has been selling hence the license and paying taxes. In Michigan it is law you can not sell food product from a home to the public without open inspections.

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marshkens February 04 2014 at 11:32 PM

I agree with propsguy. Where is the entrepreneurial spirit. Her cupcakes look sensational and a rival to any commercial maker. Lets get her up and going again. Having gone through a bit of this in starting my specialty foods business it's no fun. Chloe can I get your recipe?

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haidacable February 04 2014 at 11:18 PM

The health dept needs more publicity for themselves so they can go after a little girl and wrecked her dream...isn't that something?

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whitesoxrocked05 February 04 2014 at 11:18 PM

Only in Illinois..... This State is soooo Assinying.

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