For the past two summers, twelve-year-old Kimora has worked diligently on
building her cupcake business, Crazy 4 Cupcakes. Back in 2017, she sold just
vanilla cupcakes, but over the course of the last school year, she found recipes
for chocolate and red velvet cupcakes that met her standards. “I like a dense
cupcake,” she says. “I didn’t want to go with a fluffy cupcake because you can get
that through a box cake.”
Shaker Heights Middle School
seventh-grader Kimora Langford
spends her free time in search of her
personal sweet reward: baking and
selling the perfect cupcake.
With two well-received expanded offerings under her belt, Kimora set her sights on a new goal for the summer of 2018:
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find tasty recipes for gluten-free chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.
She began the summer selling cupcakes at a Young Entrepreneur event in Shaker (she sold out), and then she was asked
to prepare cupcakes for two private parties. But a Farmer’s Market event on the West Side at Crocker Park introduced her to
the idea of collaboration. “There was a vendor there who sold gluten-free products. My dad and I started talking to her and
she said that we could use her flour, so we’re thinking about maybe partnering with her,” Kimora says. That encounter got her
to thinking about partnering down the road with other small businesses whose products complement her own.
Kimora estimates she spent about 1-2 hours a day researching better baking techniques on YouTube and Pinterest, and
about a dozen hours (give or take) each week on her business. That left her with ample time for friends, theater camp, dance
class, and easy summer days.
Now that she’s back in school, Kimora says that she’s always looking for connections between what she learns in the
classroom and how she can apply that to her business.
“The two things that have helped me the most are math and science. Baking is a science: If you mess one thing up, you’ll
mess up the whole thing. So I know that when we’re doing experiments in science, I make sure that I follow the formulas
exactly,” she says. “Math helped a lot last year, especially as I’m trying to figure out what the price is for me to bake one
cupcake. And art really helped me with creativity and determining which colors go together. Not all colors are appetizing.”
Eventually, Kimora wants to progress to baking cakes, macaroons, and other treats. In the meantime, she’s content to
keep at Crazy 4 Cupcakes. “I’m just crazy in love with cupcakes,” she says. “I have a real passion for it.”
Photo by Jason Miller