From simple chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes to French macaroons and towering layered cakes with toasted meringue frosting, Aspen Moreland bakes it all.

At just 17, Moreland ran his own cottage catering business, Aspen’s Kitchen, from his family kitchen and baked pastries for two restaurants in town. After graduating from high school this month, the East Grand Forks college student plans to start working on her next goal: to become a pastry chef with her own location.

Moreland started Aspen’s Kitchen in seventh grade. She is a childhood brain cancer survivor and wanted to raise money to donate to charities supporting other children with cancer. What started as a small business selling cookies to friends has turned into the start of a career.

While she took a break from Aspen’s Kitchen to focus on graduating from high school earlier, she plans to start selling again after graduating this month. Typically, an eight-inch three-layer cake sells for $ 40. A dozen cookies costs $ 7 and a dozen macaroons $ 15. Although she has a directory of recipes, she says she’s always up for trying new things.

Moreland sells under a Minnesota Cottage Food License, which allows producers to prepare and sell foods that are not potentially hazardous – that is, foods that do not promote the rapid growth of bacteria outside of temperatures. refrigeration. Common foods sold under cottage food laws include dry baked goods, jams, dried spices, and canned fruits and vegetables.

All of his recipes are family recipes passed down from parents like his mother and grandmother, but the genes of Moreland Bakery can be traced back more than a few generations.

“My family had opened a bakery in the 1900s in New York, New York, and I have their cookbook that they published,” said Aspen Moreland.

This cookbook, browned over time and crumbling with use, now serves more as a decorative reminder of a family tradition than a daily resource in the Moreland House. But, Aspen has her own cookbook that she uses – a large black binder with the words “Aspen’s Kitchen” on the front containing her favorite recipes, typed in to include her edits and preferences.

“She’s going to make adjustments to the recipes and redo them and they always turn out a little better,” Aspen’s mom Jen said. “I don’t know how you can improve a grandma’s recipe, but she always finds a way. “

Aspen works as a pastry chef for Ely’s Ivy and bakes macaroons for French Taste, both in Grand Forks. For French Taste, she makes 100 macaroons a week in flavors like s’mores and salted caramel. At Ely’s Ivy, she makes all the breads and cakes.

“They let me choose what to cook and I have my own freedom to do anything,” she said of her work at Ely’s Ivy.

Prior to working at Ely’s Ivy and French Taste, Aspen worked at Paola’s Pastries, which closed in October 2020. Jen says local businesses that took Aspen seriously, even at a young age, are part of the reason for which she is so good at baking. Each of his employers taught him new techniques and allowed him to experience pastry in a professional setting.

“They all took the time to teach him and I think that only happens in the right communities,” Jen Moreland said.

Aspen plans to attend business school at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks in the fall to learn how to run a business. Then she hopes to open a restaurant or a bakery.

Orders can be placed by sending a direct message to Aspen on the Aspen’s Kitchen Facebook page and to @aspens_kitchen on Instagram.