Everyone wants to find something they are passionate about and to have a dream. For Delaware Technical Community College freshman Emily Chirdon, her passion is creating sweets that make those around her just as happy as she is when she bakes. This Milford-grown girl dreams of owning her own bakery and her customers agree that she should.
“People might think it’s unrealistic to try to start this sort of job,” Chirdon said, “but I love doing it. It may be harder, but at the end of the day, I am going to love my job and that’s what matters.”
Chirdon began Emily’s Petite Sweets at the farmers’ market this summer because she “wanted to do something she liked during the summer.” Her family has been selling products at the farmers’ market off and on for 12 years, so it was easy for her to set up shop there this summer. When Chirdon was eight she was already involved in the farmer’s market working a little candy stand with another vendor’s daughter.
Chirdon’s stand now sells “petite” forms of a variety of baked goods from mini muffins to cake pops and pies. She makes everything and uses fresh ingredients and in-season produce in her goods. The cake pops grab the children’s eyes when they visit the market. Chirdon enjoys baking the cake pops because it allows her to be more creative, such as making animal shapes out of them.
“A lot of kids come up and go ‘oooooh,’” said Chirdon. “Usually that’s the one thing they really go for.”
Volunteer Market Master Meredith Schmidt’s kindergarten daughter, Lila, often brings her own purse and money for the week to buy mini muffins at Emily’s Petite Sweets.
“It’s my daughters favorite shop,” Schimidt said. “I’m impressed with the way they package and present everything too. We don’t have anyone else selling what she’s selling.”
The older generations, including some of her regular customers, often go just for her pies. When she works her way up to owning her own bakery, Chirdon says a big part of it would be her pies. “People go crazy about my pies. The pies always sell out here.” One pie they love is her Lemon-chess pie; it’s old fashioned with a custard without cream.
“It brings back old memories and good-home feelings,” said Emily’s mother, Kate Chirdon. “The whole market is wonderful for the community.”
There are many trials in baking itself – such as preventing a soufflé from collapsing – however when people really like her sweets and come back for more, it is well-worth it for her. Her friends have told her “I don’t know how you do it” because it seems so hard. They are all very supportive of her though, as is her family.
“The hardest thing in culinary is it’s not a big money making job. It’s hard work and you barely make it. But if you love it enough, you stay with it,” said Kate. “Baking all these pies is a real labor of love. Emily is taking on the next generation of loving food and creating.”
Every week Emily posts on her Emily’s Petite Sweets Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/emilyspetitesweets, what she will have at the market that Saturday. People can pre-order her goods or make suggestions even if she doesn’t have an item on her list.. The Milford downtown Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday until October from 9am -1pm on Walnut Street.