By Nancy Molnar The Times-Reporter, New Philadelphia, Ohio
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) 16 year old Maggie Weaver has created a recipe for success. Her baking business is booming as the orders keep flowing into "Sweets by Mags."
High school sophomore Maggie Weaver has a growing business that many entrepreneurs would envy. Her production schedule is full through July.
The 16-year-old makes custom-decorated cookies, cakes, cupcakes and Oreo pops. To make Oreo pops, she splits the sandwich cookies, and adds melted chocolate to the center to hold the stick. The reassembled cookie-on-a-stick gets a chocolate coating and decorative icing. She has made two wedding cakes.
Maggie started the service after she made WJER-themed cookie pops for cousin Zac Kopp to share with his coworkers as he ended his internship at the radio station in the summer of 2016.
"They wanted to know if I had a Facebook page, and I didn't at the time. So I told them yes. And then I came home and made the Facebook page in 20 minutes, real fast. And it has blown up ever since," Maggie said.
Orders are placed through her Facebook page, Sweets by Mags.
Maggie, a New Philadelphia High School student, has a busy schedule that includes volleyball, tennis, art and music.
"Most of my orders are normally on the weekends, because people don't normally order stuff during the week," Maggie said. "Whenever I don't have time, my mom normally does the baking, and then I'll come in with the decorating. I normally do the baking and everything during the summer. During the school year, I just don't have time. I normally just come home, do my homework and baking."
Lisa Weaver said her daughter has "hundreds and hundreds" of cookie cutters in various shapes.
"She's not limited by the cutter," Lisa said. "She made Neil Diamond cookies."
Dinner plans often take a secondary place behind baking orders. If the kitchen, equipped with a new double oven, is overtaken by sweet treats, dad Chris Weaver may bring pizza home.
This weekend's orders included cookies designed to look like softballs, and others with a "Beauty and the Beast" theme for Welty Middle School.
Maggie's favorite part of the process is the artwork, an affinity that is causing her to consider studying industrial design or graphic design at the University of Cincinnati, where brother Luke is a student and sister Emma learned to become a lighting designer.
"I've enjoyed creative design and baking since I was a little girl," Maggie said. "After twice winning the top award at the Ohio State Fair for my 4-H projects in cake decorating, I realized that I love it, and I have talent that others appreciate."
Those state fair ribbons came in fourth grade and sixth grade. She is a member of the Country Clovers 4-H club. In keeping with the 4-H theme of community service, Maggie has donated some of her products to charity. She has made cookies and a cake for Icing Smiles, a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. The organization's theme is, "We are baking a difference."
Robin Waltz, president of United Way of Tuscarawas County, said Maggie made 144 cookies for the organization's annual luncheon on Feb. 15.
"I had Maggie's cookies at Christmas time and was so impressed I approached her if she would be willing to make cookies to commemorate the United Way of Tuscarawas County's 75th anniversary," Waltz wrote in an email to The Times-Reporter.
"Maggie did not hesitate to say 'yes' and then offered to donate. Her cookies were a hit at our luncheon. Maggie is such a busy teenager, it's a credit to her that she makes such an effort to donate her time and talents to give back to her community."