WEATHERFORD, Okla. A gifted baker has opened a shop not only to delight the sweet tooth but to feed hungry children, CBS Oklahoma City affiliate KWTV-TV reports.
The Sweetness Factory is bustling with business, but this little cupcake shop just off of Main Street in Weatherford isn't your typical eatery.
"My health wasn't great, and I was told that I needed to do something, if this was my time, time to do it now," said the Sweetness Factory's Deb Hanson.
Battling cancer for a second time, Hanson knew she wanted to leave behind a legacy by helping others, and that's about the same time she heard a story that just broke her heart.
"I was sitting and reading an article in the newspaper one day about a little girl who asked for a half-eaten banana from the teacher out of the trashcan because she was hungry," Hanson said.
At that moment, Deb knew she wanted to turn her passion for baking into profit - but not for her.
"I have this crazy idea: I want to do this, but I don't want to get paid for it," said Hanson. "At the end of the day, we cash out our register, we pay our bills and every dime goes forward."
And right to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma's Food for Kids program.
"I want to feed as many children as possible; that is my goal," said Hanson. "I want no child to be hungry."
Hanson's dream has come true. In the first nine months Sweetness Factory was open, the business funded 69 backpacks full of food for kids in western Oklahoma's Custer County to take home on the weekends for the entire school year. A labor of love and Hanson doesn't take the credit.
"We can bake it, but unless they buy it we can't support it," Hanson said.
Every customer who walks in the doors knows they're helping feed hungry Oklahoma kids.
The community has gotten behind Hanson's cause. At the end of the night, instead of throwing out the unsold cupcakes and cookies, local business owners buy out the product that's not sold to give to others. They're called After Hours Angels.
"I've got two kids of my own," said Jake Mills. "So, for me, to see other kids that don't have food, that don't have meals, it's heartbreaking, so the little bit that we can do with our company is an awesome feeling."
The giving spirit, blessing Oklahoma children.
"I just want people to realize there is a need," said Hanson. "There is a way that we can solve that need. And we're just excited to be a part of it."