BEULAH — Madeline Mummey always makes her own birthday cakes.
She works from a recipe book passed down from her grandmother, who baked for Michigan State University.
“It was originally a typed book, but now there are so many notes from my grandma and my mom, a bunch of family secrets,” Madeline said. “I think my grandma got it at a garage sale so there are another family’s secrets in there, too.”
Madeline, 16, a sophomore at Benzie Central High School, has been in the kitchen her whole life, starting at five years old when she helped at her mom’s Bear Lake coffee shop, The Sunshine Café. She started cleaning rooms at The Inn At Beulah Beach when she was 10, and now does all the baking for the bed and breakfast.
But Madeline has bigger plans. In May she’ll open a bakery called Sweet Cheeks Treats in downtown Beulah, where she’ll sell her homemade cheesecakes, muffins, candies and more.
Sweet Cheeks Treats started with an impressed bed and breakfast customer who joked that Madeline’s treats were so good she should go into business.
“I took that seriously and started looking into it,” Madeline said.
Starting a bakery takes more than talent in the kitchen. Madeline had to navigate the state’s licensing process, find a place to bake and put her savings toward setting up a retail space.
Madeline will bake at the Grow Benzie shared commercial kitchen, a move that saves her from having to spend tens of thousands on a kitchen of her own. She’s getting licenses for processing and selling food, and hopes to open her store in May next to the Cold Creek Inn.
“She’s very mature; she really has her stuff together," said Karla Ann Horne, a food inspector for the State of Michigan. "I’ve been very impressed with her organization and her drive for her age.”