A senior at Bellevue's Newport High School recently cooked up an idea to fund her college education. Not scholarships, not student loans. Instead, she opened an online bakery.
Rachel Lingenbrink started baking when she was a young girl.
"Ever since I was little, I would bake every Thanksgiving with my grandmother, we would bake pies," she said. "And then I started baking birthday cakes and everything for my other family members."
When she started taking a culinary class at Newport High, Rachel saw an opportunity.
"Just one day, I was talking to a web designer and she helped me create a website, and then from there, I was like, wow," she said. "It was just a project then, but it kinda grew into a business."
The website launched last month, and the business is already taking off. Rachel said the hardest part was getting the proper permits, insurance, and financial documents in place.
She also needed a commercial kitchen to bake out of. Rachel was able to set up an agreement with her neighbor and close family friend, who owns a catering business.
Rachel "rents" time in the kitchen, in exchange for babysitting her neighbor's kids.
"One of my ideas for my future would be to own a bakery, like a storefront," she said. "Right now I'm doing deliveries because it's a small business, and I wouldn't be able to keep a storefront open every hour of the day."
That would be difficult, especially since she is still a full-time student, balancing school work and after-school activities with her own business. For now, she takes orders online and delivers them throughout the Bellevue area.
"It's pretty hard to fit everything in, but somehow I do it," she said.
Rachel's mother says she has always been a saver. She saves every check she gets for birthdays and holidays. Her parents weren't surprised when she came up with the idea to raise money to pay for her college tuition.
Right now, Rachel's plan is to attend Bellevue College. That way, she can go to school and continue working on her business.
Rachel named her business Shine Bakery, because Shine is a nickname that was given to her years ago. You can check it out here.