As a child, Michael Platt loved to bake.
And when he turned 11, the Bowie, Maryland, resident turned his passion into a business and founded Michael’s Desserts, as the Washington Post reported.
The bakery operates on a one-for-one donation model, meaning that for every cupcake sold he donates one to the homeless, according to WJLA. He makes donation batches about once a month, he told the outlet.
Platt explained that it is important to him that his business has a philanthropic component.
“I knew that I wanted to make a business, but I knew I didn’t just want to make money, I also wanted to help people at the same time,” he told WJLA.
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“Your business model isn’t sustainable. What can a cupcake do?” My answer to adults who tell me this: In my opinion a cupcake can do a lot! I’ve seen a cupcake inspire smiles, tears, amazement, joy, satisfaction, happiness and other private emotions that I won’t share out of respect for people’s dignity. I’ve passed a cupcake to someone sitting with all their possessions in a shopping cart and had them tell me that this one simple act gave them hope. I’ve left a cupcake beside someone who’s sleeping under blankets on a grate because their friend on the grate next to them said it was ok when I asked. That’s why I give away cupcakes. I’ve been told that my business model isn’t sustainable and that I can’t scale my business while giving away a dessert equal in value, ingredients and labor to the ones I sell. I just look at those people and think about the next cupcake I’m going to give away! #hunger #changetheworld #giveaway #cupcakes #food #foodaccess #foodjustice #foodsecurity #dignity #feedthepeople #cookies #pie #changeagent #bethechange #kidpreneur #dreams #hope #sweettreats #oneforone #1for1
Michael’s Desserts partnered with No Kid Hungry, which is a nonprofit that provides meals, hosts educational programming, and advocates on behalf of children.
In the last two years, Platt’s business has grown.
The teen bakes everything from cookies to cupcakes, according to the Washington Post. He told the newspaper that each month he sells about 12 cookies, 75 cupcakes, and 12 rotating “chef’s choice” items, which he also calls “freedom fighter cupcakes.”
Every month the teen draws inspiration from a different historical figure and bases the”chef’s choice” flavor on that person. Past honorees have included Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr, who inspired the business, according to the Washington Post.
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Golden Milk Cupcakes! Each month I’m going to be creating a cupcake based on a Freedom Fighter that I admire. This month I made this cupcake to honor GrandPa Kitchen!! He’s a grandpa in India who cooks huge amounts of food for orphans in his town. He is one of my absolute favorite modern day freedom fighters! @Grandpa_Kitchen Check out my story and my IGTV to learn more. I’ll be at @thespicesuite on the 23rd with these Golden Milk cupcakes. Every cupcake you buy, buys a dessert for someone in need If you’d like to preorder and pick up for the 23rd Golden Milk, Sweet Potato, Mocha Mini Cakes or my surprise Chef’s Choice cupcake please send me a message! #kidbaker #baking #goldenmilk #cupcake #1for1 #feedthepeople #tumeric #boybaker #dessert #cookies #grandpakitchen #hunger #michaelsdesserts #thespicesuite #freedomfighter #bakingadifference #minimalistbaker
Cupcakes, in general, are by far his biggest seller – and a four-pack sells for $15, according to the newspaper. Platt, who is home-schooled, has gotten help and support from his mom, who he calls his “baking consultant.”
He’s grateful for all the support – and for all the orders people have put in. Most of which are placed by strangers.
“I always wanted to have a purpose for what I do,” he told the Washington Post. “It’s all about helping people – not just having a purpose for yourself, but thinking about, ‘How does this touch other things?'”