This girl is giving back in the *sweetest* way
One of the best parts of baking is sharing your sweets with others. Faced with a freshly baked batch of muffins and no place to put them, Gable Sloan, now a seventh grader in Fayetteville, Ark., decided to use her baked goods to give back in an even bigger way.
Since she was nine years old, Gable has been running Gable’s Bakery, her own business where all the money she makes from selling muffins and more is donated to charity or scholarships she funds for local high schoolers.
For her super-sweet work, Gable was selected as a State Honoree for the 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a program that recognizes kids and teens for their outstanding community service work. We caught up with Gable to talk about her giving-back journey, favorite treats to make and advice for other future boss babes (like you!).
Girls’ Life: How did Gable’s Bakery get started?
Gable Sloan: I’ve baked for fun since I was very small. Rather than watch cartoons on Saturdays, I would pull out my mixer and spend time with my parents in the kitchen. One morning, when there wasn’t room for more baked goods in the pantry, I asked my parents to drag an old desk out to the curb outside my house. I figured by selling baked goods, I could do what I loved while helping people.
GL: What have you accomplished so far?
GS: I’ve been able to fund two $1,000 scholarships for graduating high school seniors at my local high school. Access to education after high school isn’t easy for everyone. Scholarships and money become very important, and if it isn’t there, so many deserving students can’t go. My idea was to send service-minded students up the ladder of higher education in hopes that each one turns back and lends a hand up the ladder to the next.
All in all, I’ve baked up close to $7,000 for local and national charities, Feed Fayetteville, The Arkansas Children’s Hospital, The Susan G. Komen Foundation, The American Heart Association, The Seven Hills Homeless Shelter, EOD Warrior Foundation and Louisiana Flood Relief.
GL: How have your friends or family helped along the way?
GS: My family has been so supportive of me throughout this, they encourage me to give back and help people by demonstrating service to others in their daily lives. My friends and teachers have done the same thing. They support and inspire me every day.
My family also helps in the kitchen when I need extra hands. My dad is especially helpful with clean-up—it’s not my favorite part of baking. My mom helps with social media, and my brother is my official taste tester.
Occasionally, my friends pop over and bake with me. Those are some of my favorite baking days.
GL: What challenges, if any, have you faced, and how did you overcome them?
GS: It’s difficult sometimes to balance baking with school, sports and other things. Sometimes I have to turn down orders, so I can get all of my schoolwork and extracurricular activities done. And there are times I have to say no to social stuff if I have pending orders. It’s a balancing act sometimes, but I wouldn’t give any of it up.
GL: What are your hopes and goals for yourself and your bakery?
GS: First and foremost, I want to help kids get involved in volunteering in their community. Second, I want to raise $100,000 for charity by the time I’m 18.
GL: What do you love about baking? What are your favorite things to make?
GS: I love baking because I get to use ingredients to make a huge mess then make something delicious out of it. Baking is science! When you bake, ingredients are combined and heat is introduced to cause a chemical reaction. I love experimenting in the kitchen. My recipes don’t always turn out but practicing and sometimes failing helps me improve my knowledge and make my product better.
I love making pretty much anything, but my favorite is my blueberry muffin with caramelized crumb topping. It was one of the first things I made when I started my bakery. I also like making peanut butter cup cupcakes because it’s a fun recipe—and who isn’t crazy for a little peanut butter and chocolate together?
GL: What advice do you have for other girls who want to give back?
GS: Discover what you love, what you are passionate about, and then find ways to put yourself to work in your community. Do you love to dance? Volunteer at a local community center teaching dance. Are you a great photographer? Organize a local youth photography show. Is gardening your thing? Volunteer at a community garden. What about reading? Have you thought about reading aloud at local nursing homes? The sky’s the limit. Dream big.
If you are a devoted volunteer, consider applying for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards! CLICK HERE for more information.