MOUNT CARMEL — When it comes to baking, it's a family affair for Mount Carmel High School junior Hannah Wilson.

Hannah, daughter of Michael and Christy Wilson, joined the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities program to explore her options. Now, she's in the process of starting a bakery.

"When I first got into the CEO class I knew I wanted to do a bakery, because I love baking, cooking and everything that goes with it," she said. "My mom, grandma and great-grandma all have family recipes, so I'm going to make a cookbook out of family desserts and I'm going to do a bakery."

In addition to the bakery and cookbook, Hannah thinks it would be a neat idea to host baking classes where kids could decorate their own cupcakes.

For now, Hannah will baking her famous no-bake cookies at home, but may eventually set up a brick and mortar location in Mount Carmel.

"If the tradeshow goes well and I get good feedback from the community, I would love to open a shop here," she said.

While the name is not official yet, Hannah is considering naming her bakery Hannah's Swirls & Pearls. She also hasn't decided how large orders can be — due to schedule constraints — because she is a full-time student and works part-time at Taco Tierra.

A Facebook page will be set up before the tradeshow in April, but Hannah is currently taking orders via call or text at 618-240-2700. She has been booked to make cupcakes for baby shower already, she said.

Hannah said the CEO program has taught her a lot about how vital small businesses are in the local community.

"It's helped me understand how important business actually is because I never thought about it," she said.

In addition, she said she is gaining valuable speaking experience.

"I like the CEO program because I get the opportunity to network with a lot of people. I'm a people person, but I was really nervous talking to older adults. Now I'm like 'Eh, it's nothing,'" Hannah said.

The junior has future plans to attend Oakland City University, hopefully on a tennis scholarship, as she is on the varsity team at MCHS and would like to continue to play the sport. Hannah said she wants to go into teaching and maybe get a business degree, but still has over a year to decide.

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