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A Sweet Gig: Perry Teen Launches Cottage Bakery Start-up

Most teenagers spend their free time absorbed in social media and hanging out with friends, but 15-year-old Brenley Fouse  isn’t like most teenagers.  Every day Brenley spends her free time spreading love and sweetening life with each bite of her baked goods.

The inspiration for Brenley Fouse's  Love & Sugar started as a way to raise money for a youth study trip; a “literary roads” tour to London, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Dublin with a focus on works by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and J.K. Rowling.  After successfully raising the money needed for her class trip, she is now using her baking to raise money for a new musical instrument as well as for local charities. 

Fouse is one of many "Teen-preneurs" that are getting their start in the cottage industry.  As a Cottage industry baker, Fouse can still attend school and bake in her free time while offering consumers a home-baked alternative to mass-produced or industrialized bakeries with her assortment of homemade and handcrafted baked goods.  After an 8 hour school day, the Perry High School student balances work and play with afternoons typically filled with piano lessons, music practice, tennis, and church – with some days being a combination of more than one of those.  She usually wraps up her after school activities around 8 p.m., then does her homework before baking.  "I’ve had to learn to check my calendar before accepting baking orders to make sure there are enough hours in the day to get everything done!"

While  Brenley has learned a thing or two in her baking journey, she finds the most rewarding part of her success is "Getting to see people enjoy the food that I’ve worked hard to prepare.  By participating in local farmer’s markets, I have also met lots of incredible people in our community!"  Another rewarding part of her cottage industry allows her a "unique way to contribute to local charities and fundraising efforts of others."  Just this month, she was honored to donate baked goods for Bark for Life, a fundraiser for Relay for Life, as well as for another PHS student’s efforts to raise money for special needs children.

When asked what advice  Brenley could offer to other young entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own business, "Work hard and have an amazing baking staff!  Everything costs more than you think it would – licensing, insurance, packaging materials, food costs.   Everything take much more time than you think, too!   Keeping up with orders, messages, social media, planning for events, baking… then the most time consuming – cleaning up!!"

Love & Sugar specializes in pound cakes, cheese straws, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and more. Everything baked is made from scratch in small batches and made with only the finest of ingredients.  To find out more and get connected to Love & Sugar, Follow them on Facebook @perrycookiegirl.  For questions, inquires or to place an order, you can email Love & Sugar at [email protected].

posted 03/29/2018 in Community
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