October 2, 2012

Our Neighbors: 11-year-old turns cake boss

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Jayne Hall is an 11-year-old pastry chef.  While her classmates are out playing football and cheerleading, she’s building her own business.

“She’s come a long way,” said her mother, Terri Hall.

Jayne’s interest in baking cakes snowballed since 2009 when she bought her first  cake decorating book.  Since then, she’s ordered a state-of-the-art mixer, rolling pins and several pounds of icing.  She decorated her first cake at Gifted and Talented Camp in 2010.

“I only took the class at GT Camp because I wanted to eat the icing when the teachers weren’t looking,” Jayne said.

She soon found out that her braces would make sneaking sweet globs of icing more difficult than she imagined.  So she focused more on the decorating than the eating.  Soon after, she asked her mother if she could take cake decorating classes from Pastry Chef Ramona Loman at Crown Wedding Chapel and Party Supply Store in Somerset.

To further her knowledge of baking, Jayne pays several visits to her London Living Treasure relative, Elaine Hays.  Hays has shared many decadent recipes for cake batter and flavors which Jayne is sure to add in the mix for her customers.

Jayne spends a lot of time with her dad, Michael Hall, supporting his antique and classic car hobby, and he supports her little business opportunity.

“She’s learning a trade, and when she’s in college or whatever she decides to do — this is something, as long as she lives, she can make money doing,” he said.

“She can always fall back on it if something doesn’t work out, especially in this economy,” Jayne’s mother chimed in.

When Jayne’s peers realized she had some talent with cake decorating, she began to make a birthday cake each month for the Special Education Department at North Laurel High School, and that has parlayed in to a business for family and friends.

This year, Jayne won first place at the Kentucky State Fair in 4-H Cake Decorating.  She created a square cake made to look like a basket with handles with pink and purple hydrangeas cascading over the edges.  She baked the same cake last week for a couple’s 10th wedding anniversary.

“How often do you meet an 11-year-old that’s doing this?” Jayne asked, glowing with pride.

Jayne contributes 10 percent of her earnings from cake making into her savings, 10 percent into her tithe and the rest to support her business.  On top of her leisurely pursuits, she’s joined the academic team at Bush Elementary — which is the icing on her cake.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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