18-year-old opens business during coronavirus pandemic
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Back in January, 18-year-old Maddie Cimino started blogging recipes and posting pictures of her homemade cookies. A short while later, she decided to make the move from blog to business.

“One day I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to go try and sell my cookies on Instagram,' and it just kind of blew up from there," says Cimino. "In March was when it really exploded.”

“I was really noticing, ‘Okay this is really going somewhere,’" she says. "I looked at this store, and it was just kind of an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

With that, Cimino made Maddie’s Cookie Company official, opening a shop on Jefferson Street in Downtown Huntsville. Though the coronavirus continued to impact businesses nationwide, Cimino had no trouble keeping the customers coming.

With specialty flavors like s’mores, oreo, heath pretzel and more, it’s no surprise customers have been falling in love, and the shop is not only a new joy for them, but for Cimino as well.

“I kind of get butterflies every time the store opens, and then I leave for the day. It’s just so fun.”

She’s so pleased with her new work that when she heads off to Auburn in the fall, she’ll be pursuing a degree in business as opposed to her original plan of medicine. Her career change has since inspired her to encourage others to follow their dreams.

“The whole week before the store opened, I was really kind of scared. I was like, ‘What if this doesn’t work out? What if it’s just pointless? What if something’s wrong with the cookies?’ I was kind of doubting everything, but that’s just kind of how it goes, and once you just do it… it’s just the greatest thing to look back on.”

Cimino isn’t quite sure how she’ll keep her store open when she heads to Auburn in the fall, but she’s hoping to keep up the business in some way.

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