I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” For most people finding just one passion they want to pursue as a career is challenging, but imagine having two hobbies you categorically love that you could envision becoming a profession.
Sammi Hampton is a 24-year-old senior at ASU. Originally from Vancouver, WA, she came to Phoenix to pursue her childhood passion of playing collegiate tennis.
“I love playing college tennis. The girls are wonderful, Arizona is a great fit for me, and I’ve made lifelong friends with my teammates and other athletes at the school,” she said.
Like many young athletes, Hampton dreamed of playing professional tennis after graduating from college – that is until another childhood passion became even sweeter.
“My mom is a great cook. We baked pies, cookies and cakes together, and in middle school I used to joke that someday I would have my own bakery,” she said.
Although baking was always a part of Hampton’s life, between school and all the hours spent on a tennis court, it was something she did for fun and for all her friends.
Then two-and-a-half years ago, on a road trip with her mom from Washington to ASU, she had an “a-ha” moment which led to the invention of what she calls the “cakie.”
Hampton loves cookies, but she has always wanted cookies to be a little thicker, so as soon as they arrived back home to Arcadia, the experimenting began.
“I started researching and trying out different ingredients. They looked like a disaster at first, but they actually tasted delicious, so I knew I was on to something,” she said.
At the time, Hampton was taking an entrepreneurial class at ASU, and part of the class project was working on a business venture. That’s when her part-cake, part-cookie went from a dream to a profit. She decided to do a two-week advertising blitz on social media to see if the “cakie” could win over the hearts of diehard cookie and cake fans.
She had so many orders that the whole family was baking and packaging to meet the demands of her new following.
“People say they love them because they are delicious, large and moist. The most popular flavor is our famous funfetti, and chocolate chip is also popular,” Hampton said.
To juggle her schoolwork, tennis and a three-day baking schedule, Hampton gets her teammates to exchange their rackets for aprons and become bakers for a day. It’s just another way she can still enjoy both of her passions and recognize how one compliments the other.
“I think my work ethic and positive attitude are the personal qualities that helped me become the tennis player I am today,” Hampton said. Those qualities directly translate to baking; as hard work keeps me striving for more.”
Hampton is back on the Sun Devil’s tennis court, and people all over the country are discovering they no longer need to choose between a cookie or a cake. Now they can enjoy both.
– Robin Sewell is the host and executive producer of Arizona Highways Television, Saturdays and Sundays on CBS.