How a passion for the TV cooking show at the age of seven led Morgan Hipworth to Bistro Morgan and a multi-million dollar food empire

Morgan Hipworth remembers being “driven and determined” from the age of seven.

When the contestants were eliminated from his favorite TV cooking show, he took it upon himself to recreate – and, of course, nail – all the failed dishes.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Go behind the scenes of Morgan’s Bistro with Morgan Hipworth

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“I used to turn our dining room at home into a restaurant,” says Morgan, from Melbourne. 7life.

“And I would print out menu cards and punch cards and call it Bistro Morgan.

“So every weekend I would pretty much spend the whole day cooking, and then I would invite anybody over – be it family, grandparents or friends – and cook for them.”

Morgan Hipsworth poses in his Melbourne bakery, ‘Bistro Morgan’. Credit: Jason Yu

It was there that an amazing journey began that saw Morgan start two businesses at just 15 years old – while studying in high school.

He now runs a multi-million dollar food empire.

Sliding door moment

At 13, Morgan was dining at a local cafe when he struck up a conversation with the owners about their food.

Surprised by the teenager’s knowledge of baking and cooking, the owners asked him how he was so knowledgeable.

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After telling them he was baking at home, they asked for samples.

Finding them appetizing, they immediately began employing Morgan to bake cakes and slices.

Morgan cooking at the age of seven. Credit: Provided

Morgan recalls having to register her kitchen with the local council and get the relevant business licenses and tax mechanisms “almost overnight”.

One year, the popularity of his Valentine’s Day donuts “exploded.”

“We’ve grown from one cafe around Melbourne to around 25, with another 50 on the waiting list,” he says.

Morgan’s dinners for the original ‘Bistro Morgan’. Credit: Provided

Soon Morgan was making a staggering 800 donuts at home every weekend and couldn’t keep up with demand.

This was all done while he was finishing high school and was heavily involved in weekend sports and after-school training.

His company Bistro Morgan was born.

Morgan working at Bakers Delight. Credit: Provided
Morgan’s original donuts. Credit: Provided

“My weeknights could be interesting,” he says.

“That’s when it all started that cafes could place their orders at 3 p.m. the day before, and I could come home and there might not be an order, or it might be… a huge order.

“And obviously you also look at things like homework.

An early advertisement for ‘Cafe Morgan’. Credit: Provided

“I tried to always overwrite my homework during recess and lunch breaks.”

His fledgling business was so successful that he had to push production and delivery to weekends only – so he could focus on his schoolwork.

Morgan’s Bistro

At the age of 10 – before he could even drive a car – Morgan decided he wanted to open a cafe.

But his parents wanted him to wait until he finished high school.

As a compromise, Morgan rented a pop-up venue during school holidays for eight days.

The original ‘Bistro Morgan’ pop-up store. Credit: Provided

In those days, he sold over 10,000 donuts, earning over $55,000.

“It was just 20-hour workdays and it was all so surreal,” he says, adding that he enlisted friends and family to help out.

“It was crazy, we went to bed at 2 a.m. and went back to the store at 4 a.m..”

Eventually, Morgan took a permanent lease on the location.

“I fell in love with space and couldn’t imagine anyone else in it,” he says.

Bistro Morgan opened its doors permanently when Morgan entered Year 11.

After the eight-day pop-up store, Morgan took out a permanent lease. Credit: Provided

Since then, Morgan says he’s baked more than 500,000 donuts and experimented with more than 3,000 flavors.

Her favorite is the “Cookie Monster”, filled with cake batter, topped with white chocolate, Oreos, confetti and sprinkles.

work-life balance

Six years after founding Bistro Morgan, he seems to have found a nice balance between baking, his personal life and his other business, Morgan Hipworth..

Morgan Hipworth focuses on cooking in general, whether it’s on social media or in her new cookbook.

It’s a balance that Morgan says “keeps things fresh.”

Morgan and the Sunrise team. Credit: Provided

However, Morgan – who just celebrated her 21st birthday – admits it’s hard to follow a different path from her peers.

“I think the hardest part was just that it’s different for everyone and you don’t walk the same way,” he says.

“All my friends were going to college and I didn’t even apply.”

Morgan’s story is an example of the things young people can achieve with immense sacrifice, dedication and long hours.

Morgan poses with a donut at ‘Bistro Morgan’. Credit: Provided

“If you find a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life,” he says of the old adage.

How lucky to find that at only seven years old.

Morgan has a cookbook with Penguin Books and over 913,300 followers on TikTok.