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Taste by Spellbound

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Miriam Rieder’s place is in the kitchen, and she likes it that way. She calls herself an old soul, but as the 21-year-old proprietor of the newly opened “dessert studio” in Avon, she is just beginning a journey she hopes will land her on the Forbes 30 under 30 list someday.

Her dream is to fuse food, fashion and furnishings to create a lifestyle company—to be the Martha Stewart of her generation.

On a recent visit, with swing music playing in the background and sweet smells meandering through the air, Rieder’s fingers never stopped moving as she baked, decorated and packed a shipment of her famed red velvet truffles bound for Redwood City, Calif., and recounted her fairytale story.

After her mother, Ruth, signed her up for a cake-decorating class, Rieder started her own baking company at age 11 in New Mexico and called it Creative Cake by Miriam. At 14, inspired by a Vogue cover featuring Kate Hudson in a red Balenciaga dress, she decided to branch out into fashion with a line of headbands. To showcase her creations, she launched a website called SpellboundGirl when she was 17.

In 2006, after moving from Oregon to Enfield and later Canton, Rieder, who was homeschooled and never went to college, worked two jobs and had little time for baking. Her New Year’s resolution in 2010 was to bake more. And so she did, baking treats for co-workers who told her she had a gift.

Then things took a fortuitous turn. Rieder had become an avid listener of KC101’s Elvis Duran, a syndicated radio show out of New York.

One day, the radio host asked listeners, “Do men like women with long or short hair?” Miriam sent a picture of her waist-length blond hair. The producer tweeted back, then things really started cooking. Miriam sent the morning team some truffles, and before she knew it, she was in New York appearing on the show. Afterward, she was barraged with online orders, Facebook requests and tweets. She and her mother worked deep into the night to fill orders. In 10 weeks, they baked 12,000 truffles. Finally, despite fears about the economy and with her mother’s support, Rieder quit both jobs to devote herself to the idea of a dessert business. She opened Taste by Spellbound on March 31.

Miriam uses traditional flavors for her truffles, scones, cookies and cakes, but also ventures off the beaten path with such creations as strawberry basil scones, lavender lemon truffles, a banana cake with salted caramel frosting and her signature firecracker cookies—Belgian chocolate with ancho chili and cinnamon. The flavors are fit for a dream: appropriate, since Rieder is losing no time making hers come true.

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