This teenager from Bowie, Maryland operates the bakery on a one-for-one donation model. This means that for every cupcake that he sells, he donates one to the homeless. In fact, he makes donation batches once a month. Platt shared that it is important for him that his business has this philanthropic component.
During his interview with WJLA, he said, “I knew that I wanted to make a business, but I knew I didn’t just want to make money, I also wanted to help people at the same time.”
Michael’s Desserts partnered with No Kid Hungry. This is a nonprofit organization that provides meals and host educational programming as well as advocates on behalf of these children. In the past two years, Michael’s Desserts grew!
His baked goods include cookies and cupcakes. The Washington Post shared that each month he would sell about 12 cookies, 75 cupcakes, and 12 rotating “chef’s choice” or “freedom fighter cupcakes” items. Every month, he would get inspiration from different historical figures and base the “chef’s choice” flavor on this particular person.
His past inspiration included Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. According to this teen businessman, his cupcakes are his biggest sellers where a four-pack sells for $15. Platt is homeschooled and he got help and support from his mom whom he also calls his baking assistant.
Platt is grateful for all the support that he receives, for all the orders that people put in where most of them are strangers. He said, “I always wanted to have a purpose for what I do. It’s all about helping people — not just having a purpose for yourself, but thinking about, ‘How does this touch other things?’”
On one of his Instagram posts, he wrote:
“Your business model isn’t sustainable. What can a cupcake do?” My answer to adults who tell me this: In my opinion, a cupcake can do a lot! I’ve seen a cupcake inspire smiles, tears, amazement, joy, satisfaction, happiness, and other privation emotions that I won’t share out of respect for people’s dignity.”
He also explained on this post that he once passed a cupcake to someone sitting with all of their possessions in a shopping cart and had them tell him that this one simple act of generosity gave them hope. He also shared that he left a cupcake beside someone who was sleeping under the blankets on a crate because their friend said it was alright when he asked them if he could.
“This is why I give away cupcakes.” He added, “I’ve been told that my business model isn’t sustainable and that I can’t scale my business while giving away a dessert equal in value, ingredients, and labor to the ones I sell. I just look at those people and think about the next cupcake I’m going to give away!”
Michael Platt is only 13 years old. What more can he do when he gets older? But for the meantime, he is one teenager that is a good role model for every kid from all parts of the world.