Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
We’re here to help you: Illinois officials have ordered an eleven-year-old to close her cupcake business that was earning her $200 a month.
“They called and said they were shutting us down,” said Chloe’s mother, Heather Stirling.
According to the Post-Dispatch, health officials informed the Stirlings that they would have to “buy a bakery or build her a kitchen separate from the one we have” for Chloe to continue selling cupcakes. “Obviously, we can’t do that,” Heather said. “We’ve already given her a little refrigerator to keep her things in, and her grandparents bought her a stand mixer. But a separate kitchen? Who can do that?” Chloe was charging $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 specialty cupcakes. “I’m saving for a bakery,” Chloe said in the piece that got her into trouble.
“The rules are the rules. It’s for the protection of the public health,” said health department spokeswoman Amy Yeager. “The guidelines apply to everyone. People will react how they choose to react. But it is our job.”
If this doesn’t illustrate why the rules are a bad idea in the first place, I don’t know what will. A free society allows for this kind of creative innovation, and also allows the possibility that maybe all cupcakes won’t be perfect.
Sadly, we don’t live in that free society any longer.