Two Cornell students, Nicole Edelstein and Albert Quizon, have done the seemingly impossible. They started a business while still in college. Made with Love is a bakery that sells macarons on the Cornell Ithaca campus and ships them around the country. Ten percent of their profits benefit Cornell University’s Cupcakes for a Cure, a student-run organization that helps pediatric cancer patients and their siblings.
What inspired you to start Made with Love?
I was inspired to start Made with Love for many different reasons. I’ve always loved baking ever since I was little. My aunt is an avid baker and owns her own Filipino cake business. She has mentored me over the years and has been a great baking teacher. She makes sure that everything is done with precision and accuracy. Another influence in my life that caused me to start this business is my passion for philanthropy and my strong desire to help other people. I started the Cupcakes for a Cure club; however, I wanted to experiment with a more business-y model that I could continue working on physically even after I graduate. The great thing about our e-commerce macaron business is that we can serve our customers regardless of where we are physically located. I’m graduating this semester, however I can still continue to work on the macaron business, which donates 10% of profits to kids with cancer.
How did you come up with the name Made with Love?
My friend Cherise told me that her mom has always been asked what her secret ingredient in baking is. Her mother always says “love” is the secret ingredient. My friend encouraged me to open a bakery with the name “Made with Love”. The name stuck, and I decided to open a business one month later after she gave me that idea. I think Made with Love is so relevant because of its focus on raising money for such an important cause that our team at Made with Love loves and cares about.
What was the hardest part of starting a business while still in college?
The hardest part is finding balance. Its really hard to take seven classes, manage three Cupcakes for a Cure chapters at three different colleges, run a brand new business, participate in weekly intramural sports (soccer and flag football), study, and make time for social activities. Life is about balance and starting Made with Love has taught me that I can still go above and beyond and help people while still having a full load academically. I believe that we can make time for things that matter and starting Made with Love has shown me that I can effectively manage my time even when I think I’ve reached my maximum capacity.
How did you get involved with Cupcakes for a Cure?
I started Cupcakes for a Cure my freshman year of college in 2011 before I transferred to Cornell. I started the first chapter at the University of Central Florida. I always get asked what motivated me to start this organization. I always tell people it was a random idea that I had one night, and the next day, I just took that idea and ran with it. This isn’t the first time in my life that I’ve flown by the seat of my pants. I also did the same thing applying to transfer to Cornell mid-junior year on a whim.
How does your involvement with Cupcakes for a Cure impact Made with Love?
Made with Love donates 10% of its profits to Cupcakes for a Cure. Cupcakes for a Cure is a charitable organization that is in the makes of becoming a nonprofit. Made with Love is a philanthropic business. The two are very different, however they promote the same cause. I wanted to experiment with different business models in order to discover what works best in raising the most money for kids with cancer. Through the two different models we are able to raise money from different groups of people. For example, Made with Love ships domestically and we are able to receive sales from all over the US. However, with Cupcakes for a Cure, we are somewhat limited to raising money only from Cornell students, faculty, and staff.
Do you make all of the macarons by hand?
Yes, all of the macarons are made from scratch and with love. We bake them fresh and ship them the same day or the very next morning if we are up late baking when the post office is closed (which is almost every time we bake into the late evening/night).
What is your most popular flavor?
Our most popular macaron flavor is definitely cookies and cream. We’ve been able to perfect that specific recipe to come out perfectly every single time. Macarons are very finicky and we often have to redo a recipe if some don’t turn out perfect. However, cookies and cream is always a success.
Do you have any ideas for new flavors that macaron lovers should look out for?
Right now we’re really focused on fall flavors such as pumpkin spice, salted caramel, and coffee; however, as the holiday season approaches, I’m so excited to start baking our new flavors which will be s’mores, peppermint chocolate, and gingerbread.
What is your favorite thing about Made with Love?
My favorite thing about Made with Love is that it isn’t just a business, its a philanthropic endeavor. I believe so much in helping other people through our talents and expertise that we are given. I’m lucky enough to have both business acumen and baking skills. Through these talents I am doing everything I can to promote a greater good aside from just a career. Yes, it’s nice to make a living off of baking and doing business, however I want my goal to always be to help those that need it most, and I believe that children with cancer are in need of help both financially and through life-betterment. I’m hoping that Made with Love can change many lives through the use of our donations to kids with cancer to help families with those children battling cancer to live happy and healthy lives despite their unfortunate situation. There is currently no cure for pediatric cancer, however I want to do my best in helping the families that do have kids with cancer live a good life while they wait for that cure.
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