IMPERIAL Morgann Williams has been baking for most of her life.
But for the last three years, she has turned one of her favorite hobbies into a business.
The college-bound student who recently graduated from Buena Vista High School, has been running her own baking business called “Bakes by Morgie” to help pay for her tuition.
She plans to attend Tarleton State University this fall in Stephenville.
However, her business originally got started to raise money to spend when her family went on vacation a few years ago to Florida.
“We went to Disney World and Universal Studios for my sister’s graduation because who doesn’t want to buy stuff on vacation,” Williams said.
From there, her business continued to grow and she started selling more cakes than she thought she would.
“I continued to do it throughout school and then I realized that it would be a great way to raise money for college because I am the second oldest of seven and I have been raised with the mindset of going to college,” Williams said. “I’m trying to help my parents pay for tuition as much as possible.”
At first, her main customers where members of her family.
As time has gone by, though, more and more customers have contacted Williams and placed orders as word of her business has grown in West Texas.
“My mom (Melanie Williams) is a real estate agent, so she knows a lot of people in Monahans and so I sold a lot of cakes to clients that she has helped,” Williams said. “Now, I’m selling cakes to people that I haven’t even met before.”
She also has her own Instagram page.
Most of Williams’ customers are in Monahans, Imperial and Fort Stockton. The furthest she’s delivered to is Odessa.
Her menu includes cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, éclairs and brownies.
The most popular menu items are the chocolate cakes.
“Everybody is always needing a chocolate cake,” Williams said with a laugh.
Her workload will include about two cakes per week and a lot of cupcakes which are another popular item.
“I get those all the time,” Williams said of the cupcake orders. “I would say like three dozen cupcakes to four dozen cupcakes a week. It just depends on what people want.”
With the school year now done, she says her workload has increased.
“Before, I used to only have two (orders) per week but this week, I’ve had about four or five. Sadly, I’ve had to turn some down because people think I can wave my wand and a cake will appear and they will want one tomorrow and I need more time.”
She prefers about three days to prepare for each order which gives her enough time to plan and to come up with fun designs for each cake.
“I could tell (my customers) that I could start getting ideas for it, and then the second day, I can make the cake part and then the third day I can decorate it and deliver it,” Williams said.
After baking the sweets, Williams will put them in boxes and with the help of her mother, she’ll deliver them.
“If I’m able to go with my mom, I’ll hold the cakes but sometimes we put them on the floor boards so that they don’t slide around and we take them to the people’s houses,” Williams said.
Often times, especially during high school, Melanie would help Morgann with the scheduling to help her not get too stressed out.
“Sometimes, I get pretty overwhelmed and she helps me calm down and will help me with the recipes,” Williams said. “She also helps me deliver and my dad (Malcham Williams) is my professional icing taster. He makes sure I have it right every time so that everyone is happy with it.”
Her obsession with baking began in the third grade where she would watch the show “Cake Boss.”
“I wanted to be just like the cake boss Buddy Valastro in New York. I’d always watch his shows and I was thinking “I’m going to own a bakery.” That was always my goal when I was little. As I got to middle school, I kind of just left behind baking and then I got back into it and thought maybe this is a possibility for me since I enjoy it so much.”
She says trying new stuff with her cakes sometimes frightens her but she’s been starting to work out of her comfort zone as she gets ideas from other TV shows.
“I’m scared of using fondant because fondant is intimidating in the baking world,” Williams said. “But I’ve been able to get more comfortable with that. I also watch a bunch of baking shows to get ideas for flavors and different things to bake.”
In addition to baking, she has other goals in life, too.
The graduating senior finished third in her class at Buena Vista and was the female scholar athlete for this year.
During high school, she kept busy with playing volleyball, tennis, running track and being in cheerleading where she was the mascot for Buena Vista.
Williams’ academic bio included 36 dual credit hours at UTPB.
“I took them online,” Williams said. “I was just used to it because I was a freshman in high school and I was used to Monday’s tests being due or getting ready for other quizzes. It was easy to work everything into my schedule because I knew when assignments were due.”
As far as running her baking business and balancing school work, she said it took a lot of scheduling and often times taking a break from cooking.
“Sometimes it’s been stressful and there’s been periods of time where I have to take a break,” Williams said. “When I got close to graduation, I had to stop baking for a while because there was so much to do. It’s been practice makes perfect with those situations. Getting started, there was some schedule mess ups. Sometimes, I mix up dates or something happens and I have to scramble to finish up the order but it usually works out in the end.”
Williams, who will be majoring in English at Tarleton State, hopes to be a writer and an English teacher but she won’t rule out baking either.
“I fell in love with the idea of teaching because I went to the UTPB STEM Academy and I had this teacher named Mr. Sanchez and he taught us through creative writing which is where I learned that I loved writing stories,” Williams said.
Williams attended UTPB STEM Academy for three years until her family moved to Imperial.
“The interactions between him and the students was so much different than any other classes where you write the essay and read the book. I just wanted to do that with other students as well,” Williams said.
One of the many reasons Williams loves to run her own business is because she can still choose her own hours or which projects to undertake.
“I mostly like being able to make the stuff and make it beautiful,” Williams said. “I consider it an art form, personally. I just really enjoy it. I always say that food brings people together and being able to make people happy through food is a great thing for me.”