In New Jersey, you need to be high school age to get a job, so I created my first job.
Every weekend for three summers, I would bake a fresh batch of brookies to sell. A combination of a brownie and a cookie, a pair of soulmates. I baked, sliced, and individually wrapped them– complete with a sticker with my name and a cartoonish whisk. I would bring them to a local golf course, and they would sell them in the Golf Pro Shop. I was a twelve-year-old entrepreneur who just loved to bake and had too much time on my hands.
When I got my first envelope of cash for selling the sweets, I was in awe–people were willing to pay for the baked goods I created. I was lucky not to need all the money I was making and wanted to help someone else. I started to donate a portion of it to breast cancer research. I gave half of my weekly pay to my mom; she would write the checks for me. I loved the entire process, it was the first time I received validation for my baking skills outside of my family, and I could provide even a little bit of help to breast cancer research. At the time, my mother’s best friend and my dad’s aunt were battling the disease. As a ‘tween’ it was easy to feel helpless when others are struggling. Unfortunately, I could not give them a cure-all, but I could donate money to research a cure. Selling the little sweets allowed me to try to help my parents and their loved ones, giving me a purpose.
Nearly ten years later I found my way back to baking for Breast Cancer Research. While studying at New York university, I had the privilege of working as a pastry cook for two years at Dirty French and Marea, selling over 100 tins of Holiday cookies but, the passion stemmed from my humble pastry beginnings–the summer of Brookies. I am thrilled to start writing alongside Bakes for Breast Cancer, sharing memories of my own and from chefs, recipes. I get to work with a company that is just as passionate about sharing sweets for a cause.