Hailey McNeil has always felt that 100 Mile House could use its own bakery.
The 13-year-old loves to bake confectionery delights and this year, she’s begun to put her dream of opening her own bakery in motion at the South Cariboo Farmers’ Market.
Although Sunbeam Pastries has only just made its debut at the market, Hailey sees it as just the start of her journey to a brick-and-mortar business.
“Sunbeam Pastries is the start of my road to one day becoming a pastry chef and starting my own bakery,” she said.
Her booth, which marks Hailey’s first foray into the world of business, includes her regular baked staples such as cupcakes and cookies, tarts whenever she can find the time to make them, cakes on special occasions, and banana bread when she has overripe bananas. She said her treats so far have been well received by market attendees.
Her fellow vendors have also been welcoming and nice to her, she added, especially market manager Amanda Patterson. She said she’s learning something new every day.
Hailey said her love of baking comes from her mom and grandma. Growing up in 108 Mile Ranch and Horse Lake, she used to watch her mother bake and decorate cakes while her grandma made her cookies and muffins.
“My favourite part of baking is probably the creative part of it. I love deciding what flavours to use and how to decorate my pastries,” Hailey said. “For me, the most challenging part of baking is all the technicalities, like knowing at what point to stop whipping meringue or how to mix macarons.”
When she isn’t baking, Hailey said she loves reading, drawing and hanging out with her friends.