Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Baking up an Entrepreneur

As parents, we all want to see our children happy even if it means indulging in their interests at the expense of our own comfort.

My daughter has really developed a passion for baking and has mentioned to anyone with ears who will listen that her dream is to become a chef. Because of this, we have become regular viewers of just about every cooking/baking show currently on Food Network as well as one of her favorites from TLC, “The Cake Boss.”

Over the summer we decided to indulge her passion and center some of the summer’s activities around her love baking. After doing a little research, I found Kids’ University that was offered at a local college and among the many classes was a Petite Pastry Chef course. I immediately enrolled her! For one whole week, she was the personification of Buddy Valastro himself.  She learned how to make things like strawberry shortcake, apple pie and fondant from scratch and was really proud to bring home her tasty treats each night.

Driven by her experience, a week after she’d completed her course she asked if we could create Bake Saturday. Figuring a couple Saturdays of baking couldn’t do much harm, I agreed. But, as usual, I underestimated this child. She had large scale production in mind and immediately began reviewing recipes from her “college course” and recruiting “helpers” to make this enterprise a success.  Very quickly I realized that I hadn’t agreed to baking a dozen chocolate chip cookies or an apple pie; I’d agreed to run a small business out of my kitchen!

I had to find a way to rein this wild horse back into the stable quickly without squelching her enthusiasm and ambition. Because we were flying my sweet niece who happens to live in the Northeast home anyway, I offered her a chance to visit Carlos’ Bake Shop to counter the creation of a smaller version in our home. I thought it would be a good for her to see exactly what kind of work running a bakery entails.

Her answer, of course, was yes and that one trip created a win/win situation for us both. She got a trip to visit her favorite baker’s shop and I postponed becoming a helper/ mom to an eight-year old CEO of a bakeshop… at least for now anyways.

Are any of you moms out there raising little entrepreneurs? What ideas have they come up with? How did you handle it?    

Nikki Hall-Branch is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Mom to one daughter with big goals for the future.

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