By Jenna-Lee Neff

Need to satisfy a sweet tooth? Avah Montgomery has you covered. This talented teenager has taken her love for baking and turned it into a passion project for the local community to enjoy.

Montgomery, 13, took to Nextdoor and Facebook to share her homemade macarons with friends and neighbors.

Like many adolescents and adults alike, Montgomery says the ongoing pandemic has led to an increase in anxiety and free time on her hands. After many of her plans such as trips and camps had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, she began to plan weekly dinners she could make for her family. The first week was Mediterranean-themed.

“While I was thinking about what dessert to make, I instantly thought of pistachios and began connecting this idea to macarons,” Montgomery shares.

She shares that her passion for baking started when she was very young, baking chocolate chip cookies with her mom on Saturday mornings. She first started making macarons about three years ago.

“For me, baking is a way to relieve some of the anxiety that I feel in the world,” she says.

That first batch came out perfect and inspired her to share her sweet creations. Montgomery began posting about the macarons on social media, set up a Venmo account for payments, and tested for her Food Handler’s Card to learn more about safety regarding kitchens.

Her first order, vegan macarons, sent her back to the books. Montgomery found that chickpea brine, called aquafaba, replaced egg in the vegan version. And after some trial and error, she had a product she was ready to share. The vegan macarons were a success and another opportunity for her to grow her knowledge.

She shares that her favorite part of the process is hearing what others have to say after they’ve tried the macarons.

“I love getting both positive feedback and constructive criticism,” she says. “Anything that I can do to improve my macarons or customer service is vital to my project.”

So far, Montgomery has created macarons in pistachio, vegan, vanilla, strawberry and apple pie. She shares that pistachio is her favorite because she also gets to make the pistachio flour that goes into them. She looks forward to trying more interesting and wild flavors in the future.

As the new school year approaches, Montgomery has a plan. She says she will continue to bake her macarons, cutting back when she needs to in order to study. She will also continue to take specialty orders.

“Since first grade, my parents and I have firmly believed that school is the priority,” Montgomery shares. “I love to learn and grow, and more importantly, I always put in the effort to do work that I am proud of.”

When she isn’t busy with her passion project or education, Montgomery is an avid reader and dedicated to learning the art of acting.

“Everything I do makes me happy,” she says. “I believe that it is very important to do what you love and become who you want to be.”

To learn more or place your own order, you can reach out to Montgomery at [email protected].