Little cakes, bigger dreams
Millie Rowe's baking dream is looking sweet.
The young baker and cake decorator, of Timaru, has secured herself a scholarship from Southern Hospitality and an apprenticeship to work in Scotland.
While her scholarship will not take her far from home, her apprenticeship will: to the other side of the world, to work at Scotland's acclaimed Fisher and Donaldson bakery in Fife.
Millie's scholarship will put her through a patisserie course at Aoraki Polytech in July, before she travels to Scotland in January.
But for now, her main priority is raising the money to go. To do that Millie, 17, has been making cakes to order and already, her small business venture is proving profitable.
Last week she raised $1500, after costs, selling 400 cupcakes on the streets of Timaru in celebration of Valentines Day.
The young entrepreneur said she has no regrets leaving school at the age of 16 to pursue her career.
"I love doing it. It's my passion."
Since leaving school Millie has achieved a national certificate in baking - level 2. She has also established a work space, using a room at the back of her Avenue Rd home. Millie uses the room to decorate her cakes, but rents commercial kitchens throughout Timaru to do her baking.
"You don't need a commercial kitchen to decorate cakes, but you do for making the cakes [to sell]," she said.
Decorating has become her forte. One of her many talents includes making flowers from icing, in particular peonies, which can take up to three days to complete.
However, she believes she still has a lot to learn.
Millie's mum, Polly, is impressed by how far she has come.
She realised just how difficult it was after helping decorate a batch of cupcakes.
"I thought, I'll be able to do this because I'm an artist, but I just couldn't. I found it really hard."
Millie plans to eventually turn her decorating room into a commercial kitchen. But at the moment she is focusing on her business, one cake at a time.
The Timaru Herald