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Cupcake-making Illinois girl getting new kitchen

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 4:32 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP Photo/Belleville News-Democrat, Derik Holtmann)
Chloe Stirling, 11, trades a high-five with her mom, Heather, at Triad Middle School near Troy, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, after learning a local plumbing company will build her a commercial kitchen for her cupcake business. Madison County health officials shut down the girl's $200-a-month operation last month after concluding her kitchen wasn't a commercial one requiring such things as a permit and inspection. The announcement came while the Stirlings and Chloe's peers watched the family's taped appearance on the "Rachael Ray" show.

TROY, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois sixth-grade girl whose home-based cupcake business was shut down for running afoul of state law is getting a spoonful of charity to bake again.

Jason Spangler, the owner of an O'Fallon plumbing and heating-and-cooling company, announced to Chloe Stirling and her parents during an assembly at the girl's Triad Middle School that his crews and suppliers will lead the way in building a commercial kitchen onto the 11-year-old girl's Troy home. Spengler says the donation-funded construction project that'll bring her into compliance with state law will be completed by mid-May.

Madison County health officials shut down the girl's $200-a-month operation last month after concluding her kitchen wasn't a commercial one requiring such things as a permit and inspection.

The story of the girl's plight went viral, and during an appearance with her parents on a "Rachael Ray Show" episode aired Thursday, Chloe learned that she was getting donations of appliances that included a refrigerator and oven.

Chloe and her parents watched that segment with the girl's classmates Thursday in the middle school's gymnasium, then learned that a commercial kitchen — something the family said it couldn't afford — was bound for the girl's home, northeast of St. Louis.

The cost of that project wasn't immediately clear, though the news drew thanks from Chloe, whose father works for Spangler.

"It's been really crazy but it's been really fun," she said.

Working out of her family's kitchen, the girl had been selling her cupcakes for two years to raise money to buy a car someday. But the county's health department shut down her "Hey Cupcake!" operation, citing the home's lack of a commercial kitchen and that Chloe hadn't taken a mandatory health safety course.

Chloe's recourse was to build a separate kitchen adhering to state regulations or to work out of a certified space somewhere else.

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