McKenzie Gibson has loved to bake since she was a little girl, and at age 21, she’s made this passion into a career, opening a new bakery called Kenzie’s Cakes and More in Carthage.

Gibson is currently in the process of earning her business degree at Panola College, and she said it hit her one day that she would like to open a bakery. So she did.

“My parents are business owners, they have been my entire life, so I grew up kind of learning about being a business owner,” Gibson said. “I actually started out wanting to be a teacher, and I was going to SFA to be a teacher, but then I decided that wasn’t for me, and so I started getting my business degree.

“When I was just getting my business degree, I thought about what I could do, and owning a bakery just kind of kept popping up in my head over and over again, so I finally decided to pursue it.”

The bakery, which opened May 28, sells a wide variety of treats, including cookies, cakes, pies, brownies, muffins, cinnamon rolls and bread. Gibson also takes custom orders for specially designed cakes as well as gluten-free and keto treats.

Gibson said that owning and working at the bakery makes her happy, and if she’s doing something that makes her happy, she feels like she’ll be more successful.

“I love being around sugar,” she said. “I really don’t eat it a whole lot, but I love the smells and the flavors, and I like creating unique things.”

Gibson grew up in Panola County, attending Beckville ISD until the seventh grade and graduating from Carthage High School. She sees herself being at Kenzie’s Cakes for a long time.

“I wanna be able to have something steady that I can always count on for being able to take care of my daughter and family and everything, so I hope it lasts,” she said.

Kenzie’s Cakes is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Orders can also be made online at www.kenziescakesandmore.com. They are located at 509 N. Daniels Street in Carthage where The Bake Shoppe used to be located.