Carrie Berk is not your typical tween. By the age of 11, she was a children's book author and a cupcake blogger with 90,000 Facebook followers. Now, she's opening an Off-Broadway musical called "Peace, Love & Cupcakes."
The cupcake connoisseur cooked up the idea for "The Cupcake Club" book series in second grade when she asked her mom, Sheryl Berk, bestselling co-author of "Soul Surfer," to write a book that she would want to read. They both agreed the series should focus on fun, friendship and cupcakes, which is how the story of "Peace, Love & Cupcakes" was born. The musical, recommended for kids ages 6-12, follows Kylie Carson, the new girl in school who starts a Cupcake Club to make new friends.
"I've always loved cupcakes, not just baking them, but tasting them in bakeries all over Manhattan," said Carrie. "When I was 7, my Aunt Kathy suggested I write a blog reviewing cupcakes so people would know the best cupcakes out there."
Carrie started "Carrie's Cupcake Critique" and it grew and grew. "I've reviewed tons of cupcakes around the world, from Paris and London to Rome and Puerto Rico," she said. "It's pretty crazy how many people love cupcakes! I even attended the opening of the Cake Boss Cafe in Times Square and interviewed Buddy Valastro."
Balancing her cupcake blog, book series and musical can be tricky with schoolwork, but Carrie said she tries to make time for everything. "I take ballet every day, too. If I have to, I do my homework in the taxi on the way to ballet. My mom and I work on the books together. We talk about the plot and then she does a chapter and gives it to me to edit."
Carrie advises young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. "Kids can do anything they put their minds to. You may be little now, but if you have big ideas, you're on your way."
When it comes to something sweet, Carrie's favorite cupcakes are red velvet and salted caramel. "The best in NYC are from Georgetown Cupcake in Soho," she said.
"Peace, Love & Cupcakes" opens at the Vital Theatre in Manhattan on March 15 at 7 p.m., with performances continuing Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. through April 27. Tickets are $30. For more information, visit vitaltheatre.org.