By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF
Eve Marie Stump takes the cake.
She’s only 17, but the Liberty-Benton/Millstream Career Center student is already making her mark in the baking world.
She’s a home baker with her own online business called The Baking Company by Eve Marie. A downtown Findlay storefront is also in the works.
“I can’t wait. I want to graduate already,” she said.
Eve launched the business a year ago in January, but she began baking long before that.
“I can’t even remember when I started. I just always loved it,” she said.
Family and friends were happy to help out as her taste-testers, as were customers at the Pilgrim Restaurant, owned by her grandfather, Herb Stump.
Then in December 2017, someone asked if they could order an eggnog cake from the teen.
“So that’s when I kind of launched,” she said.
The daughter of Gene and Jodi Stump, Eve is a self-taught baker who learned by doing and watching YouTube videos. She’s also a student in the culinary arts program at Millstream Career Center, which focuses more on cooking than baking. Still, she said, “I’m really glad that I took it, because you learn all about food safety, how to run a restaurant.”
Days are busy, she admitted. She goes to classes at Liberty-Benton until 9:20 a.m., then heads home, where she usually mixes up a cake and puts it in the oven. Mom Jodi keeps an eye on the cake and takes it out when it’s done, while Eve is at Millstream or interning at Bread Kneads.
“Then I come home after Bread Kneads and Millstream for another hour, because that’s my lunch hour, and usually I decorate the cake,” she said. “And then I go back to L-B for the end of the day. So I have a really split-up day.”
(She’s been active in both track and cross-country at Liberty-Benton since her freshman year. But due to an injury, she’s not able to participate in track this spring.)
She bakes for customers most days. Layer cakes are her specialty, but she also makes cupcakes and a line of gluten-free cakes.
All of her cakes and cupcakes are made from scratch. And the frosting is 100 percent butter, she said, which makes for a light and fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
“It’s worth it in the end,” she said of the care she takes. “The taste, the quality, the customers’ reactions.”
Eve likes to experiment with flavor combinations, and often finds ideas online. Some of her recent offerings include butterscotch bourbon, chocolate-covered strawberry and chocolate-covered pretzel.
And sometimes ideas come from other treats. Her decadent rocky road cake, for example, is inspired by Dietsch Brothers and uses rocky road ice cream, then marshmallow cream for the drip around the edges. She even created a caramel cashew cake for her boyfriend’s grandfather, based on his favorite sundae by the same name at Dietsch’s.
Eve launched her company’s new name in December, going from Eve Marie’s Cakes to The Baking Company by Eve Marie because she wanted to expand her offerings.
“I don’t want to stick to cakes. I want to do other things, too,” she said.
Eve has developed a following of customers from the area and as far away as Upper Sandusky, Ottawa and Kenton.
“I had one lady, she’s ordered my berry chantilly cake like four times now within the past three months. She came over on Valentine’s Day to pick up cupcakes, and she’s like, ‘It’s life changing,'” she laughed.
Eve has already baked cakes for two weddings, and has another five or six wedding cakes scheduled. For one of those, she’ll be creating small, individual cakes that will serve as centerpieces on each of the tables at the reception.
She’s also provided treats for ribbon cuttings at the Urban Market, Thistle Exchange and Vivir Modern Mexican, and she’ll be making over 400 mini cupcakes for an upcoming sip and shop bus trip hosted by Urban Market.
“It’s kind of crazy to think she has all this going on,” her mother said.
Eve pays special attention to all aspects of her product, including the boxes, which are decorated with ribbon, tags and extras.
“I think people love that she’s 17, and they can’t believe that she’s doing this and how delicious it is,” said Jodi. “I think they fall in love with Eve, to be honest with you.”
After graduation, Eve plans to open a bakery in downtown Findlay. She’s now working on a business plan and finding a location.
“When I open a bakery, I’m going to offer more than just cakes and cupcakes. I want it to be different,” she said, adding that coffee, teas, muffins and scones will also be on the menu.
She plans to take some time off this summer to develop new recipes and products, but hopes to be open in time for the holidays. Her two older brothers and 10-year-old sister are already making plans to come and help out at the bakery.
“I think my sister looks up to me and she wants to make cookies. So I told her she could come work in the bakery and she’s excited,” said Eve.
The business’ inventory also includes soy candles with scents replicating some of her cakes, along with T-shirts and sweatshirts bearing her company’s logo.
Eve said she’s ready to run her own business with the support of her family, especially if it involves doing something she loves — like baking cakes.
“I really like the creative aspect of it with the decorating,” she said. “I like seeing people’s faces and reactions to how it tastes.”
She said a customer had ordered a cake from her, then took a video of her son when he saw it for the first time.
“He was so happy, and that was pretty awesome,” said Eve.
She can be reached on Facebook or by calling 419-788-8103.
Send an E-mail to Jeannie Wolf