A TEENAGER has spoken on the success of her ‘mouth-watering’ online bakery in Penarth.

Meg Hitchen,19, was 17 when she first launched Meggobakes from her family kitchen.

Just over a year later Meg has expanded into a thriving business catering to loyal customers and corporate clients alike.

During her first year of trading, Meg produced over 400 unique orders to clients across Wales, alongside supplying Wilmore’s 1938.

Barry And District News: All Meg's sweet treats are handmade All Meg's sweet treats are handmade (Image: Meg Hitchen)

All Meg's sweet treats are handmade. Picture: Meg Hitchen

Meggobakes sells a range of home-baked goods from giant cookies and gooey chocolate filled cookie sandwiches to cupcakes, brownies and event cakes which are all customisable and made to order.

Meg, who began baking when she was three at her grandmother's, caters to a variety of dietary requirements including dairy-free, lactose-free, gluten-free and vegan, all at no additional cost.

Meg said: “My grandmother was an excellent baker. Spending week after week in her kitchen, I learnt the foundational skills from how to use a rolling pin to tricky whisking and kneading techniques.

“It wasn’t long before I felt ready explore my potential further and began competing against other young talents across Wales.

Barry And District News: Founder of Meggobakes, Meg HitchenFounder of Meggobakes, Meg Hitchen (Image: Working Word)

Founder of Meggobakes, Meg Hitchen. Picture: Working Word 

“Being vegan or lactose intolerant should never come at a price. That’s why I cater to every dietary need at no extra cost.

“Not only am I ensuring Meggobakes is an inclusive business, but I’m broadening my culinary knowledge, trying out new recipes, expanding my offering and building trusted relationships with my customers.

“It has been a hoot, rather than a hindrance.”

Barry And District News: A stunning Meggobakes cake A stunning Meggobakes cake (Image: Meg Hitchen)

A stunning Meggobakes cake. Picture: Meg Hitchen

At age 13 Meg won her first Future Chef Regional Competition, a title she won three years in a row. In the fourth year of competing, Meg was awarded the title of Future Chef Regional Winner and went on to represent South Wales in the national final in London.

During this time, Meg was introduced to Tommy Heaney, professional chef and owner of the self-titled restaurant in Pontcanna. Meg worked under mentor Tommy’s wing, gaining insightful knowledge into the culinary industry and polishing her professional skills.

Barry And District News: Meg Hitchen with Tommy HeaneyMeg Hitchen with Tommy Heaney (Image: Working Word)

Meg Hitchen with Tommy Heaney. Picture: Working Word

Tommy said: “Meg has always had an effortless approach to culinary arts. To this day I am proud to take on a mentoring role and support Meg as she grows as not only a chef and natural baker, but a successful businesswoman too.

“I am truly grateful to be able offer insight, advice and guidance as a fellow chef and entrepreneur. Her achievements in the first year of operating are a true representation of just how successful Meggobakes can and will surely become. I can’t wait to watch the rest of her journey.”

Barry And District News: The home-baked goods are all customisable and made to orderThe home-baked goods are all customisable and made to order (Image: Meg Hitchen)

The home-baked goods are all customisable and made to order. Picture: Meg Hitchen

Meg now has her eye on starting her own café with the help of Welsh Government funded services Big Ideas Wales who aim to support anyone between the age of 5 and 25 to develop a business idea and was partnered with business advisor Liz Hopkin.

Big Ideas Wales Operations Team Lead, Lynne Berg, said: “Although she is only 19-years-old, Meg has had a hand in the culinary world for almost a decade, winning countless accolades for her natural abilities and training under one of South Wales’ most talented and acclaimed chefs.

“So, while Meg had a wealth of knowledge on her desired industry from the get-go, there were many areas of entrepreneurism that Liz was able to support her with – from helping to build a professional business plan to offering guidance on registering as a business, understanding finances and profits and product pricing.”