Click here for Episode 1 of AMERICAN DOERS, a new 12-part video series featuring original thinkers, innovators, craftspeople, risk-takers and artisans across the United States.
Colorado native Shareena Casterline made her lifelong dream of opening an online pastry shop a reality. And she did it all from her apartment.
The 30-year-old baker was abandoned by her biological family at the age of 3 and shuffled from foster care homes for 7 years until she found her forever home with Larry and Nancy Casterline when she turned 10. The loving couple gifted her with a cookbook for her birthday and she’s been baking ever since — always dreaming of one day owning her own bakery.
“Baking brings me peace,” Casterline tells PEOPLE.
After graduating from culinary school in 2012, Casterline moved to New York City and created the Madison Street Bakehouse, an online confectionary, from her laptop in her Chinatown apartment. Casterline sells a single product, the “Maddy” cookie, a gluten-free wafer made with roasted almonds that “goes perfect with coffee or tea!”
She operates out of a rented kitchen space and sells her cookies to online customers and local Manhattan coffee shops.
“I just went out and did it! I started my own business!” Casterline says. “If I can do it, anyone can.”