June 4, 2014 -- Any professional chef would be lucky to win a cooking competition, securing herself free billboard space to advertise her services and national media attention for her business.
Taylor Moxey, a pastry chef from Miami, worked hard to build her baking business, starting by selling cupcakes at her church, which turned into private clients and winning a cornbread competition against other professional Miami-area chefs.
It has all the trappings of a standard American success story -- except Taylor is only 8 years old.
“If I have a client on Tuesday, say my dad picks me up at like 1 and then we go to my house and we get the ingredients ready and start baking and by the time it’s done and we deliver it, I go to dance,” Taylor told ABC News about juggling her schedule.
She’s still in elementary school, after all, so homework and other extracurricular activities can sometimes get in the way of maximizing profit.
Taylor started her business after her father, Vernon Moxey, challenged her to come up with the money herself for a doll she wanted to buy.
“Her mom and I gave her a loan of $40 and said she can pay it back. We were confident she’d make $40 but we thought that’d be the extent of it,” Moxey said. “But that Sunday at church she made $175 selling the cupcakes. We were blown away.”
Rather than buying the doll she had earned, Taylor chose to use the profits to buy business cards and start a real pastry business.
“She started passing the cards out as ‘Taylor the Chef,’” Moxey explained. “My phone number was on them, so people started calling, and all of a sudden I’m getting cupcake orders. And it’s just spiraled.”
Since then, Taylor entered and won a professional cornbread competition last summer, beating out a prominent Miami chef, who didn’t know he had lost to a child until she visited him in his restaurant a few days later for a picture, Moxey said.
“She decorates her own boxes by hand and people love that because it’s nostalgic,” Moxey said. “She personalizes it for everyone. The cupcakes are made with love.”
Taylor charges $20 for six cupcakes, which is a fairly standard rate.
“It’s really fun for me,” she said. “I’m saving up for some different cupcake boxes and molders and stuff like that that I need for baking.”
Taylor Moxey is certainly living up to her name.
“She’s got moxie. That’s for sure,” her dad said. “Sometimes mom and I have to sit back in amazement. She’s really headstrong and goal-oriented.”