Youth Entrepreneur markets baked delectables

What began as a class project for Austin Burr has turned into a summer job and an entrepreneurial spark for marketing.

On June 14, 15-year-old Austin Burr, The Youth Entrepreneur, sold unbelievable baked goods at the Caswell Farmers’ Market.

With recipes passed down by his great grandmother and grandmother Lucindy Willis, the Literary Chef, Burr said he’s making good money and plans be in Blanche every Thursday for the market.

What once started as a Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE) project through Bartlett Yancey High School, Burr found himself liking cooking and marketing himself.

Burr said he recognized from day one the importance of shopping local. He immediately went to work converting his recipe components from store bought to market purchased.

Burr does most of his cooking and food preparation at the Semora Community Kitchen, but said each week he likes to bring something different and specialized based on his previous observations. He experiments instead at home.

On his first day, the Two-Bite Club featured item was strawberries, which increased the sale of local strawberries, so Burr brought strawberry shortcake bars the next week.

“I thought if people could see strawberries in a different way, they would buy that many more,” he said.

The June 14 batch used berries from Eli Humiston’s Sweetwater Springs Organic Farm in Roxboro.

“He is doing really good with all of his baked goods, especially with his Christmas in June Cookies, because really, they’re, ‘Wow!’” said Humiston from an adjacent vendor’s booth.

“Every year, my Grandma makes just one batch of these cookies and they are like the best cookies that I’ve ever had. My mother, her mother, and my Grandma’s mother all did this once a year batch, so it goes down my family way back,” said Burr.

“Year after year, I was stuck with eating just one batch. Now that I know how to make them, I still hold out for that one time, but I sell them to others,” he said.

The Two-Bite Club presents a different food item each week and if a child gives the sample two good bites, they earn a five-dollar token usable within the market – but not for crafts or sweets, such as the Youth Entrepreneur’s deserts.

Burr is in the 11th grade, going into 12th, and likes agribusiness and marketing.