COPPERAS COVE – Nearly 200 to 300 people stopped Saturday at Ogletree Gap in Copperas Cove to buy goods or services donated by some of Copperas Cove’s youngest entrepreneurs. The business owners ranged in age from 6 to 15 and sold things such as cookies, jewelry, toys, balloon art and sidewalk paint.
Copperas Cove Chamber and Visitors’ Bureau president Silvia Spiers said Saturday’s event – the first of its kind at Copperas Cove – was a success.
“These kids have exceeded – I think – their expected sales,” Spires said on Saturday afternoon. “Some of them no longer have physical products; they’re actually only taking pre-orders at the moment.
One of the young entrepreneurs who had sold a large chunk of his stock was Za’Corey Banks, the owner of How the Cookie Crumbles.
“I’m always in the kitchen with my mom,” Banks said of why he started his cookie business.
Banks, a 9-year-old fourth grader, explained that he had been cooking with his mother for five years. He said he plans to continue following his passion for cookie making in the future.
“I love cooking and I want it to continue,” he said.
Banks also explained that the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation taught him about pricing and how to price based on the ingredients he used.
Taking the market as a networking opportunity, 15-year-old sophomore Trayden August, owner of Kaleo’s Curb Appeal, shopped around to every vendor offering his services.
“A lot of them have, like, handwritten signs, so they’re kind of big and bulky,” August said. “So I offered them a thinner, custom-painted sign. I thought it would help them advertise their business because it would also help me advertise my business. So I think it’s a win-win situation.
August explained that he only used spray paint and that none of his work would have brush strokes.
In addition to selling their products, the young entrepreneurs competed for a scholarship as well as a free vendor spot at Rabbit Fest in May.
Spires noted that the top three companies would receive grants of $300, $200 and $100, successively. The top two would also earn a Rabbit Fest vendor spot.
Aretha Williams, Youth Workforce Specialist at Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, was one of the three judges and explained what she and the other judges were looking for.
“We’re looking for originality, one, but we’re also looking to see if they know what they’re doing and if they’re really trying to inspire themselves and other people and see what their next plan is. the event,” Williams said. noted.
The young local vendors were also judged by Les Ledger, a business professor at Central Texas College in Killeen, and Shawn Alzona, councilman for Copperas Cove.
The traders and owners present at the market on Saturday were:
- Inspired by Riley — Riley Tomblin
- Kaleo Curb Calls — Trayden August
- BallonsRUs by ShayMayzing — Sharayah Sundwall
- A Bit Of Something – Haylee Shumaker
- Fun Flasher — Cassy Poteet
- Ben’s Things Galore — Ben Cunningham
- How the Cookie Crumbles – Za’Corey Banks