Bistro Morgan: 15-year-old doughnut baker sets up cafe in Melbourne

Morgan Hipworth with parents Mark and Ellie in his new cafe.
Morgan Hipworth with parents Mark and Ellie in his new cafe. Photo: Simon Schluter

Every teenager wants to be taken seriously, but for Morgan Hipworth, his business relies on it.

The 15-year-old from Melbourne's south-east is setting up his first permanent cafe this weekend off the back of a doughnut pop-up and sweet pastry supply business.

"The hardest thing is that people don't take me seriously because of my age. I'm not your average 15-year-old, I've got all the proper council applications, I've done three barista courses, I think about my business 24/7," said Hipworth.

What started around the age of eight as a hobby making cakes for family and friends soon became a thriving doughnut and slice business run out the family garage.

A doughnut pop-up he ran earlier this year sold out 10,000 units in one week. Hipworth said his company had grown organically without any major investment from his parents.

"This definitely wasn't their idea and there's no pressure on me to make money," he said.

"I don't care about the money, I do it because I love it. I harped and harped and harped until they let me open the shop and then we sat down and had a big chat about it. My dad is a builder and my mum works in the fashion industry and they have both been pretty involved."

Hipworth's mother drives him on delivery runs and will soon be a full-time staff member of Bistro Morgan while his father has assisted in the $30,000, five-week renovation of a Windsor shop front.

"All the money for the shop fit-out has come from the success of selling doughnuts to cafes since January last year," he said.

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"We started out getting cake and slice orders and then they wanted the doughnuts with the syringes [with extra filling in them]."

Bistro Morgan will employ two full-time bakers and some casuals for front of house and Hipworth will be running the show after school and on weekends.

"I'm definitely different to a lot of my school mates who are struggling to get part-time jobs and some of them are even trying to get jobs from me," he said.

Hipworth admitted the business was a priority and he had chosen VCE subjects that fitted around his schedule with a plan to do most study during school hours. 

Does a fully fledged business mean the Caulfield Grammar student misses out on a social life?

"To be honest, leisure activities bore me. I know I'm missing out but I choose to do that. I would much rather be in the kitchen or working on our online marketing," he said.

"I really enjoy the ins and outs of running a business."

Because of his age Hipworth was unable to get typical banking facilities and has relied on Silicon Valley start-up Square's technology to take cashless payments.

"In the pop-up we noticed 50 per cent of payments happened on card, so that's half my business I might have missed out on," he said.

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