Michael Platt is not your average high school junior. Between juggling chemistry homework and studying for the PSATs, the Bowie, Maryland native also spends his time cooking and baking for his community and managing his two businesses: Michael’s Desserts and P.L.L.A.T.E, which stands for Power, Love, Learning and Access To Everyone.
Fueled by the desire to use his love of baking to help others, Platt started Michael’s Dessert’s in 2017 in an effort to provide joy and comfort to children at domestic violence shelters. This one-for-one business, which Michael established when he was 11, donates one cupcake/sweet for every one cupcake/sweet sold. Planning to expand his outreach to include other recipients, Platt hopes “to use Michael’s Desserts to support them with their basic needs so they can pursue what they love to do and make a difference with it.”
He also hopes to eventually turn Michael’s Desserts into a full-service bake shop that maintains a strong connection to community and outreach.
The menu, both at the shop and currently available on the company’s website, includes various cookies — including a best selling Brown Butter Espresso Chocolate Chip cookie — make-at-home mixes, vegan baked goods and his famous cupcakes. Customers rave about his Sweet Potato Pie and Vegan Chocolate Mocha variety, or Platt’s personal favorite: the Oreo cupcake. In addition to his standard options, Platt also offers a monthly “Freedom Fighter Cupcake” designed to honor “the people who inspire us to be better, solve big problems and change the world.” Some of the honored Freedom Fighters have included Maya Angelou, Malala Yousafzai and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
If he wasn’t busy enough, Platt also runs P.L.L.A.T.E, an initiative he started at 13 which addresses food insecurity. With P.L.L.A.T.E, Platt has been able to provide countless healthy, nonperishable goods to underserved members in the community. He aims to eventually expand P.L.L.A.T.E into a pay-what-you-can grocery store.
As for how he does it all, Platt, a 2021 recipient of the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, which recognizes some of the nation’s most influential young leaders in community service and social and
environmental change, credits his family, as well as a deep abiding passion to help. His advice to young entrepreneurs wanting to pursue a business venture? “Know who you are and be that on purpose.”
Said Platt: “Other people are getting a chance to do what you’re doing because you’re helping to lift the load.”
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