Published March 15, 2011
For Krisha Delong, opening up a hip cupcake shop called "The Cupcake Hut" in Las Cruces, N.M., wasn't what she saw herself doing with her adulthood.
“It wasn’t my lifelong goal to be a cupcake maker,” she said.
Delong opened the shop for one purpose: to give her daughter a place to work and prosper when she’s done with school. Kambree, 11, suffers from a rare disorder, optic nerve hypoplasia, that caused her to go blind before birth.
Delong remembers finding out her daughter would never be able to see. Doctors discovered the condition when Kambree was in ICU in an Albuquerque hospital shortly after her birth because of high hormone levels.
“I was actually standing against the wall, and just slid down it,” Delong said.
She said at first she was in denial and asked herself tough questions.
“You think, why me. Why her?” And as the denial diminishes: “Now what?”
“You don’t receive a pamphlet on how to raise a blind child,” she added.
Delong wanted to get a head start on her daughter's future – so she opened the cupcake shop in November.
“Kambree really likes to bake and she likes to run the cash registers and stuff like that. And I thought, well let’s open up a cupcake shop.”
They have a commitment to supporting people who suffer from the same disorder. The sales of all of their vanilla bean cupcakes go to the One Small Voice Foundation, which supports research efforts to fight the disease.
The menu changes almost daily, and some days it includes vegan and gluten-free cupcakes. Popular items include red velvet, rocky road and strawberry daiquiri.
“My dream is to work at the Cupcake Shop,” Kambree told FoxNews.com
Kambree doesn’t let her impaired vision bring down her dreams. The young businesswoman has already achieved success.
In 2010, she was named Little Miss New Mexico. Every week, she takes piano lessons, gymnastics classes, and even horseback rides and snow skis. Kambree goes to public school, in a special classroom for the vision impaired in Las Cruces.
Almost every day after school, she stops by for training at her mother’s cupcake shop. She helps take orders from customers, and do her favorite thing: run the cash register.
Delong helps her daughter move her hand over the buttons on the register, calculating a shopper’s order. She says, as Kambree gets older, they will bring in special equipment that will help her operate the store.
At 4 months old, Kambree began seeing a specialist for blind children. Now the oldest of four kids in her family, the energetic entrepreneur continues working hard in school and at the Cupcake Hut, checking out one more inspired and satisfied customer.
“It smells amazing in here, they have cupcakes in here, they have memorabilia. All this stuff is cool. It has a great atmosphere,” Preston Crollet said.