Sloane Chmara ’15 opens the refrigerator door on a Monday morning and grabs the pan of crumbled graham crackers and sugar with chocolate ganache in the middle and marshmallows sprinkled on top. Chmara baked the bars the night before, and allowed them to refrigerate overnight. She slices them into squares, calling them s’mores bars and places the bars in plastic wrapping. Chmara sticks the custom-made pink and orange Sloane’s Sweets and Treats labels onto the wrapping, ties them with a light pink ribbon and brings them to school for her first day of business.
Early in November, Chmara was telling her dad how she had brought her baked goods to school and left them in her cheerleading bag, only to find that they had all been eaten by eighth period.
“He knew that there was a high demand, and it was silly for people to take [the treats] when I could be making a profit,” Chmara said.
Chmara’s father suggested creating Sloane’s Sweets and Treats, and Chmara immediately loved the idea of selling her popular baked goods. Chmara knew that she could be successful if she put her mind to it, which is why she started the business.
“It just seemed like a really good idea because I am very entrepreneurial and have always had a desire to start businesses,”
Chmara said. “So this one seemed actually legitimate and something that I could realistically tackle.”
Starting at the beginning of the school year, Chmara baked every weekend for her friends and brought her treats to school to get feedback on the new recipes that she tried.
“I would just bring new things that I made from recipes which I never really tried before, to see what the reaction was like from my friends,” Chmara said.
Chmara uses Pinterest as inspiration for her recipes, which she would then alter and add to. Pinterest is a photo blog website that allows viewers to click on a photo, directing them to a link where the photo was originally posted. Looking at pictures of food, Chmara would be directed to a website, normally a food blog, where she would then get her recipes.
It was on Pinterest that Chmara discovered a recipe for s’mores bars, which she started baking last year. Since the bars have to be refrigerated overnight, Chmara brought them to her friends without even tasting them for the first time.
“I thought they would be horrible, and I didn’t even try them, so I just cut them and brought them to school,” Chmara said. “I remember my friends tasted them and were like ‘oh my gosh, these are actually really good’ and I was really surprised.”
Chmara now sells the highly-acclaimed s’mores bars, along with superhero cookies and brownies. The cookies are brown-butter chocolate chip cookies, stuffed with nutella and topped with sea salt and a large marshmallow.
Chmara’s brownies are not the typical brownie. They have a chocolate chip cookie bottom, a middle layer of Oreos and chocolate chips and a top brownie layer.
“I would say that my most popular treat are the brownies,” Chmara said. “People have ordered as many as 20 brownies at a time.”
Chmara charges $4 for two treats and $10 for six. She donated 25 percent of the proceeds from her first sale to the charity “No Kid Hungry,” a non-profit organization that is linked with the Food Network and helps feed children across America.
She hopes to donate the same amount of money or more to the organization from her January profits.
Chmara sold her first batch of treats in December and collected orders at school and through the Facebook page she created for her business. Along with the page, Chmara created an Instagram page for her business, where she posts pictures of her sweets.
“They are both really helpful in spreading my business and letting people know what is going on, and when or how they can order their treats,” Chmara said.
Chmara’s Facebook page has received over 800 likes, including 100 likes from people who discovered her business through Facebook’s sponsored applications. Her Instagram page has about 200 followers.
For her first batch, Chmara received around 30 orders. She spread the baking out over a couple of days and made her cookie dough in advance. Knowing that the s’mores bars had to be refrigerated overnight, Chmara baked them in advance.
“All in all, I would say, including packaging, the baking took close to 10 hours,” Chmara said. “It sounds like a lot, but it was spread out.”
This is not Chmara’s first brush with the baking business. Before creating Sloane’s Sweets and Treats, Chmara attempted to start a company, “Coupe le Gateau,” which means ‘cut the cake’ in French, with her friends Sarah Winshel ’15 and Sophia Oman. They filmed cooking tutorials which they were planning to post on YouTube, but decided not to go through with the idea.
Chmara’s brother and mother sometimes help her with the business. Her younger brother helps get the ingredients out, while her mother packages the treats.
She plans to deliver the baked goods on Mondays for the rest of the year, and some Fridays when there is a high demand for them.
“Right now, I am still getting orders in continuously, which I am really happy about, because I wasn’t sure if that was going to happen,” Chmara said.