Sam Klein/Sagamore Staff
Among the textbooks, homework assignments and other school supplies senior Priscilla Chung brings with her to class, she also often arrives carrying a batch of cake pops or freshly filled eclairs for one of her clients. Chung began her baking business at the beginning of this year, starting with the founding of her own Facebook page called “Priskilla Goods.”
Chung, who has been baking since 7th grade, said her passion for baking took off when she started making baked goods from scratch and creating her own recipes. She said she is slowly branching out to serving students and other members of the school community.
“I started by of course, box cake mixes, and then you know you can’t really keep up the lie of ‘Oh, I can’t give you the recipe,’ and you are too shameful to admit they are from box cake mixes,” Chung said. “So you start actually baking and really enjoying it.”
She said that since baking has long been a part of her life, going public with her business was a natural transition.
“What just ends up happening, since cutting down recipes is a lot of work, is that I end up just sharing them with everyone,” Chung said. “I realized that I could just make them for other people too. I could make money off of this, so why not?”
Senior Dani Jakobson, who bought a cake from Chung in November, said Chung had brought in baked goods to class a couple of years ago, and she remembered how good they had tasted when she was invited to like the “Priskilla Goods” page.
“I knew Priscilla and got invited to like her Facebook page,” Jakobson said. “She always baked eclairs for sophomore English and they were really good.”
According to Jakobson, the process of designing the cake and ordering it was personalized and the cake itself was anything but amateur.
“I got to pick out what I wanted,” Jakobson said. “I kind of thought of it in my head, and she baked it. Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and raspberry mousse. It was really good. Very scrumptious.”
Similar to Chung, Junior Baylee Mendez Rainey started her own business, called “Brown Sugar,” via social media after people commented on her personal Facebook page, asking about her baked goods. She started by catering for groups in the Brookline community such as Race Reels, and built up from there.
“It’s really small at the moment; I started with a Facebook page, then an email address, then it became an Instagram page. And now I have a hashtag,” Mendez Rainey said.
She said one of the most exciting aspects is seeing her business and her work getting attention from people, both on and off the internet.
“I just put it up for strangers, and while I only have about 13 followers on Instagram, it’s better than none,” Mendez Rainey said. “It’s been getting people’s attention, and now they are like, ‘Oh, you’re the girl who’s doing all the baking!’”
For Chung, having a Facebook page for her business means granting students at the high school greater accessibility to reasonably priced, fresh baked goods, as she only charges enough to cover the cost of the ingredients.
“I’ve looked at other bakeries and a nine-inch cake costs like $30,” Chung said. “I’m not going to charge that! Most of the people who are going to be ordering from me aren’t going to be people who play golf over the weekend with their Rolex watches.”
Chung said her love of baking and seeing people enjoy her goods trumps her desire to make a profit.
“The sheer joy of baking! I don’t know, I think some part it is definitely pride. Pride in knowing my goods are appreciated,” Chung said.
For Mendez Rainey, having a public page not only lets potential clients know about her business, but it has helped her find her place at the high school and feel more noticed in the community.
“I love so many aspects of it,” she said. “People are really enjoying something I’m making. I felt as if I go under the radar sometimes because I’m not an athlete. Baking is very recognizable, and it’s really great to be recognized.”