TAKE one ambitious teenager, add a spoonful of culinary skill, a sprinkle of dedication and the end result is a girl who has launched her own cupcake business at just 16 years old.

While her old school friends are starting their A-Level courses, Megan Rowe is starting up her own business, the Megan Dorothy Cake Company, in Benfleet.

The teenager of Newlands Road, Canvey, a former Cornelius Vermuyden School pupil, picked up her GCSE results last month, but after her plans to join a catering course fell through, she decided not to give up on her patisserie dream and went ahead with opening her shop.

Young entrepreneur Megan, who has always enjoyed baking and cake decorating, bakes all her cakes at the shop in Shafers Arcade, off Tarpots, and the early signs are that she is on to a winner.

She said: “The industry is really big now and it’s really competitive, but it doesn’t worry me.

I’ll just try to do the best I can. My goal would be to move into a bigger shop and expand from there. I was overwhelmed on the opening day, it was really busy and I sold out of cupcakes.”

During her final year at school, Megan learnt some tricks of the trade during a placement at Love Cupcake & Cheri Bakewells, in Rectory Grove, Leigh.

She said the time she spent there had confirmed to her what she wanted to do. Megan said: “They taught me everything, from baking and basic decorating, to general cleaning in the kitchen. I really enjoyed it and learnt the most just by watching what they were doing.”

Megan’s proud dad Dave, 47, said his daughter had “struggled” at school with her academic studies, but was now proving you don’t have to be a brain box to be successful.

He said: “She is very practical and very focused. She’s always known what she wants to do and me and my wife Angie encourage her as far as the business side goes. But the inspiration for it comes from Megan. We’re really proud.”

Gemma Vickerage, manager at Love Cupcake & Cheri Bakewells, added: “We are delighted Megan has chosen a career within the baking industry. She was a hard-working and proactive team member and we wish her every success in her new venture.”

The Megan Dorothy Cake Company is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm.

For more information, visit www.megandorothy.com