Twelve-year-old Chloe Stirling’s started a cupcake business, called “Hey Cupcake!” in her parent’s kitchen. On June 10th, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill in her family’s kitchen in downstate Troy, just east of St. Louis MO, that will allow home bakers to start a business in their home and be freed from some government health and business regulations.
“Hey Cupcake!” was started by Chloe to sell cupcakes at fundraisers and to friends and family. When the Madison County Health Department got wind of the cottage industry, they shut it down because Chloe Stirling didn’t have the proper business license and the Stirling’s kitchen wasn’t commercially certified.
Chloe and her mom went to Springfield where they lobbied for a bill to make it easier for small “home kitchen operators” to sell their goods without having to jump through so many government hoops. Lawmakers passed a bill that creates a new state business category for people who make less than $1,000 per month producing food in their own homes to sell by themselves or for a religious, charitable or nonprofit organization. House Bill 5354 says home kitchen operators cannot be regulated or shut down by local governments or health departments unless there is a complaint or a health safety issue.
The bill defines a “home kitchen operation” and authorizes the state or county health department to inspect a home kitchen operation only in the event of a complaint or disease outbreak. Chloe Stirling and her mother worked tirelessly to get the law passed so home cooks could do what they love, cook and bake.
Quinn thanked Chloe for standing up for small entrepreneurs. Quinn has been quoted as saying “Democracy is for everyone and I salute Chloe Stirling for getting involved and making a difference for a cause she believes in.”