Myles Hudson presents a check to Caroline Nurkin with the Pinebelt Foundation. The money will be put toward the Pinebelt Foundation Cancer Travel Fund which supplies gas cards to Forrest General Cancer Center patients in need.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (March 1, 2022) Myles Hudson is a senior at Oak Grove High School where he holds memberships in Key Club, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Tribe, the high school equivalent of Civitan. He does all of this and made a 34 on his ACT. And while those accomplishments are outstanding and impressive, it’s his side hustle that may mean more to others.
Through his love of baking and selling his wares, Hudson recently made a $1,000 donation to the Pinebelt Foundation Cancer Travel Fund which supplies gas cards to Forrest General Cancer Center patients in need. He doesn’t plan on it being his last donation, either. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this young entrepreneur became interested in baking. A novice, he admits he was really inexperienced, but as time went by, his level of culinary expertise has progressed. Baking also serves as a source of relaxation for Myles, according to his mother, Tracie.
It was during this time that someone very important in his life was diagnosed with cancer. “At the time I felt like the only way I could help was to raise money or do something to benefit the world around me,” Hudson said.
For Valentine’s Day this year, Hudson sold 40 dozen hand-dipped chocolate strawberries and his famous homemade focaccia bread with herbal olive oil. While the strawberries provided a more seasonal flair, it’s the bread that Hudson considers his specialty and what he enjoys baking the most.
Dipping 40 dozen strawberries was no easy feat. He was several hours into the process when his mother offered her services and the two worked side by side until done. Between the two of them, they put in many hours preparing the sweets before they were ever packaged and ready for delivery.
Hudson’s focaccia bread, a leavened oven-baked Italian bread, has become a favorite, both to eat and bake. Having eaten at Tabella, a local Hub City restaurant, a number of times through the years, where focaccia is served before the meal, Hudson said it easily became his favorite.
The recipe Hudson uses is one he has developed on his own. “I’ve used so many recipes that I have taken what I like from each and developed a recipe of my own,” he said. And baking these days is pretty sweet after receiving a top-of-the-line mixer for his 18th birthday. “The mixer I was using was older than me,” he said.
With a loaf of focaccia bread, Hudson also sells a small jar of his homemade herbal olive oil, which he highly recommends.
When he made his first batch of bread, Hudson said it was on a pretty small scale, just a few batches a week. But when he started selling on a larger scale, he made a Facebook post, tagging his friends, his mother’s friends, both of whom shared the post to get him where he is today – SOLD OUT, but only for the time being. Going forward, Hudson plans to cook one or two weekends a month with proceeds continuing to go to the Pinebelt Foundation.
Hudson has yet to entice any of his friends to join him in his entrepreneurial efforts. “They are too lazy to cook,” he laughingly said of his friends. “They just hope I have enough extra to bring to them.”
After graduation, Myles plans on attending the University of Alabama and major in chemistry or biology with the hopes of going on to medical school or dental school and carry on the legacy of both his parents. His mother, Tracie, is a Patient Care supervisor, while his father, Jeff, is an obstetrician/gynecologist, both at Forrest General.
Hudson hopes his donations will make a difference in the lives of patients who need assistance.
For more information about the Forrest General Cancer Center, visit www.forresthealth.org/cancer.