A talented teen is enjoying a sweet slice of success with her cake-baking business in West Donegal.
Aoibhín O’Dea, from outside Gweedore, is only 16 but for the past two years she has been trading in her own bakery business called Cácaí Aoibhín.
Aoibhín’s cakes and bakes are so in-demand that she supplies the local cafes on a regular basis.
And she has already been stirring things up in specialist kitchens in Dublin and Wicklow.
Aoibhín’s amazing creations are a delight to look at and to eat. The professionalism of her cakes and business makes it hard to believe that she’s still a school student.
It all started three years ago, when Aoibhín couldn’t find a summer job for herself. So she decided to create her own employment.
“I was already doing Christmas fairs, but myself and my dad sat down and prepared price lists and I went to my local cafes and asked if they would be interested in local home baking. They were all for it. Caife Kitty were my first to supply and I’m still with them now.”
Since then, Aoibhín has found the perfect mix of entrepreneurship and studies. The driven young woman dedicated her transition year at Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair to gaining work experience – and she secured placements with some of the best bakeries in Ireland at the Firehouse and The Happy Pear in Wicklow.
“TY was an amazing year for me, I learned so much from it. For any other student doing TY, I would recommend that they do something they are interested in and not to waste their time. I invested into myself,” Aoibhín said.
Now, Aoibhín is doing apprenticeships with Bread41 in Dublin as part of her LCA studies.
Baking talents do run in Aoibhín’s family, and she has three older brothers who are her lucky testers.
“I remember when I was younger sitting on a stool with granny and watching her baking. And I have great memories of making queen cakes with my Granny Rose in Cork. When I got older, all the social media and Youtube videos really inspired me to continue and try new things.”
Aoibhín said that entering the Great British Bake Off would be a dream – if only she had the time!
Now, she is busy with events and supplying local businesses and individual orders for birthday and special occasion cakes.
One of her best showstoppers so far was a stunning wedding cake, decorated with 24 carat gold leaf.
And Aoibhín’s baking brand is set to rise to new heights in the years to come.
“Gweedore is a lovely parish, but there are not too many cafes around here. At the moment I’m taking what orders I can get and in the future I’d love to branch out into different parishes,” she said.
The future looks sweet for this young businesswoman!