BANGOR, Maine — A 16-year-old baking protege has owned her own baking business for the past two years.
Jaelin Roberts specializes in French macarons. Fittingly, her business is called "Simply Macarons by Jaelin."
"It's something I really enjoy doing. I enjoy baking and I enjoy baking a challenging thing to make," says Jaelin.
Her mother, Joan Roberts, says she was surprised when her daughter started baking. She admits baking is not something that runs in the family.
"I didn't know it was a fancy, unique, hard to make cookie because I don't spend a lot of time in the kitchen," Joan laughs.
Like a true generation X-er, Jaelin was inspired by social media.
"I discovered Pinterest," she says. She was looking online for a new pastry to challenge her skill. "Macarons kind of popped up on my feed and I found a recipe. They were really colorful and I decided I wanted to make these."
Today, business is sweet. Jaelin sells her macarons at local cafes and Bangor's European farmers market. She also caters private events like bridal showers, birthdays and weddings.
"I especially like selling there because I'm with a bunch of different vendors. It's kind of like a community and the same customers keep coming back all week."
Aside from her drive, what makes this young girl so impressive is her charitable spirit.
10% of her profits go to a cause that's close to her heart.
"It's called 'Love without boundaries' and they help babies and children in China and surrounding countries. It had been a program that helped my parents because I'm adopted from China so it was something I was interested in doing and helping other kids get adopted from China."
Now, she's raising money for Trek Across Maine as well.
It's an annual bike ride that supports the American lung association of Maine.
"We decided to use the profits of our mini macarons and mini cupcakes and put 100% of those profits towards our fundraising goal."
Despite her success, Jaelin doesn't plan to pursue a career in the kitchen.
"I've been thinking about college. I want to go into nursing, but I'll keep baking. It will be something I do on the side."
Jaelin has raised $600 for Trek Across Maine thus far, which is well beyond the $400 she needed to raise to participate in the trek.
This will be her 4th year participating. She'll partake in the 3-day 180-mile trek.
For more information about Trek Across Maine, click here.
For more information about Simply Macarons by Jaelin, visit her business website by clicking here.