Traveling from the student dorms to the Wellness Center with baking supplies in hand under the blazing Miami sun is a breeze for second-year health science major Simone Thom.
Thom blossomed as a young entrepreneur in elementary school. As an 8-year-old, she sold slime, candy and rainbow loom bracelets to friends and classmates. By 12-years-old, she got into baking and sold brownies, cake pops, cupcakes and cookies at her middle school.
Sim’s Desserts LLC., officially established in 2017 in Prince George’s County, MD. The business offers fun flavors such as s’mores, red velvet and cookie dough, while catering to those with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan and low-sugar. Thom values the use of clean products and only bakes with high-quality materials and cage-free eggs.
“I’m a foodie, but I just don’t like how the U.S. processes food. It’s unhealthy and linked to obesity,” Thom said. “There are a lot of problems linked with how sweet things are [made], so just being able to source it back to natural and quality ingredients that aren’t harmful to us is my main reason for why I do what I do.”
But that’s not all Thom stands for. The young entrepreneur is passionate about community service and inspiring the youth to start their own businesses. The company motto — “Great Desserts, Great Impacts” — directly reflects Sim’s Desserts’ mission. Strides she’s taken so far include speaking to youth at Maryland schools like Vansville Elementary, Turner Elementary and Pallotti High School.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Thom opened her home to teach baking classes and participated in Happy Helpers for the Homeless, a 501(c)(3) volunteer organization, where she baked and handed out her beloved cupcakes.
“There were people who came who lived out in the forest,” Thom said. “It was a very nice, eye-opening experience.”
Partnering with The Thrifty Teacher, a small business in Laurel, MD, Thom showcased her desserts on their birthday packages. She has also baked for olympic snowboarder Meghan Tierney and supplied cupcakes to a DC-based law firm and a Lululemon branch in Maryland.
Thom has also won the YouthBiz Entrepreneurship Competition and been recognized by former Maryland governor Larry Hogan and Craig A. Moore, mayor of Laurel, Maryland.
Despite her massive amount of experience and exposure, she faced a bump in the road when transitioning to the thrilling UM campus.
From printing out flyers and posting them around campus to digital marketing efforts, it was a challenge to get the word out. But through trial and error, she found her balance.
“I’m young. I don’t want to fully occupy myself with my work and then miss out on different things that are a part of the college experience,” Thom said.
Thom makes sure to prioritize school work and limit orders when busy to maintain a work-life balance. Setting boundaries and maintaining her priorities worked for the UM sophomore.
“Early in my business, I was afraid of saying ‘no’ just because I’m a college student, so the broke college lifestyle is very true. So being able to say ‘no’ is something that I taught myself is okay,” Thom said.
Passionate about oncology, as her family has a history with cancer, one of Thom’s dreams is to bring joy to future patients.
“I want to figure out if there’s a way I can create a dessert that can somewhat mask some of the medicine they have to take during the treatment,” Thom said.
Simone created and manages her own website for her business. The pioneering entrepreneur continues to leave a positive mark on her communities.
“Make a profit from what you like,” Thom said.
To support Sim’s Desserts, you can follow the instagram account @simsdesserts and place orders through the website: https://www.simsdesserts.com/.