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October 11, 2013

Cooperstown grad, 18, starts business

By Meghan McCaffrey Contributing Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Many high school students graduate with only an idea of what they might want to be “when they grow up.” But Abby Wilcox of Cooperstown is not a typical 18-year-old. She had already launched her online, home-based catering business called Coopcakes before she graduated from Cooperstown Central School.

Wilcox, a 2013 CCS graduate, makes custom cupcakes with her many recipes such as the Coopcake, a vanilla or chocolate cupcake with vanilla cream filling and vanilla buttercream decorated to look like a baseball.

The recipient of the Arts in Education and the AP Art Award in high school, Wilcox said she incorporates art into her cupcakes through her decorations.

“I make custom decorations out of fondant and gum paste. It’s always fun to sculpt things for my cakes,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox started baking as a sophomore in high school in part to help her dad who would cook big family dinners. She would bring her cupcakes to parties or school events and eventually people started calling her and ordering cupcakes.

“They would pay me. I just thought that was really cool. That’s what inspired the idea for the business,” Wilcox said.

Coopcakes was officially in business in December of 2012. People can go to the Coopcakes website, abbyscoopcakes.com to fill out order forms and to view her flavor offerings and the prices. Currently Coopcakes is only open in the summer and during the winter break, as Wilcox is in college.

Wilcox is a freshman at Genesee Community College studying Entrepreneurship. She said she hopes to learn how to run her business more proficiently.

“I think there’s many things I’m going to learn in college that will help me to run my business,” Wilcox said.

She said she met Jerry Greenfield from Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream after he spoke at GCC.

“It was very inspiring,” Wilcox said.

After Wilcox gets her associates at GCC she hopes to enroll in a college to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship.

Wilcox said she has many goals for the future after she graduates.

“I would like to have a storefront somewhere,” Wilcox said. “I would like to eventually add cakes.”

Wilcox said she also wants to be able to ship her cupcakes as she has already had requests for this.

Wilcox currently offers several flavors including gluten-free options.

“I would like to add some vegan cupcakes as well,” Wilcox said. “That’s why I have so many flavors so anyone can find some that they really like.”

When asked why she bakes, Wilcox gave a surprising answer:

“When you make things for people it makes them happy. I just love spreading happiness around to other people,” Wilcox said.

Abby said she looks forward to her return to Coopcakes in December. She said she will update her website and Facebook page to let people know she will be open at this time but a lot of her loyal customers have already asked.

To learn more about Wilcox’s flavors and pricing go to her website, abbyscoopcakes.com or her Facebook page https://www.facebookcom/abbysCoopcakes.