The business of baking: Six-year-old boy builds business to learn about entrepreneurship
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Six-year-old Brady Cheatham has always had a knack for business.
As a three-year-old preschooler, Brady could be found with his toy ice cream machine, pretending to sell ice cream to his parents, Lisa and Jeff Cheatham, of Charles Town, and in the following years, he continued to express his love for business, by exercising his negotiation skills with his mother.
“As soon as he started talking, he was all about negotiating. Brady’s always been about, ‘How do I make money?’ even when he was little,” Lisa said. “He has these strengths, and we just want to help him hone in on what he wants to work on.”
Since Brady is a first grade homeschool student, his parents have been able to build some aspects of his school curriculum around his interests. This year, one of his classes is themed around the concept of business and entrepreneurship. Inspired by his class and love for baking sweet treats, Brady decided to establish his own bakery stand, Bradylicious Bakery, which he opened for its first day at the Valentine’s Day Market in Town Run Tap House and Community Pub on Saturday.
“It’s super awesome and it’s fun,” Brady said, as he sold the last of his baked goods within the first two hours of the market.
At his stand, Brady sold 13 double-frosted vanilla cupcakes, 10 lemon bars and 15 chocolate truffle bags. According to his mother, Brady did the majority of the work, with her helping due to logistic and safety reasons.
“It was all his idea. Originally he said he wanted to make a cupcake stand, but then he said we need to have candy and cookies,” Lisa said, mentioning she encouraged him to consider dietary restrictions when choosing which baked goods to make. “We talked about dietary restrictions, so the truffles were gluten free and the people who don’t want anything super sweet could get a lemon bar.”
While Brady continues developing his entrepreneurial abilities, his father said he hopes running a small business will help Brady develop soft skills, to complement his innate technical abilities.
“I really want him to follow his passions,” Jeff said. “I just try to push the human interaction part of it, because at the end of the day, the main part of business is human interaction.”
Lisa agreed with Jeff, and said she appreciates how homeschooling Brady has made it possible for her to help him to understand himself and identify his areas of interest and strength.
“If you start them young and it grows their passion, then it sets them up for success in the future. It helps them find their path,” Lisa said. “That’s the idea behind homeschooling, just helping him develop real-life skills and honing in on his interests.”