Students creaming it with cupcake venture
A group of Auckland students have hit a sweet spot selling vegan-friendly cupcakes to major supermarket chains.
The cupcake mixture for children, created by Let Them Eat Cake (LTEC), has hit shelves in Farro Fresh and New World supermarkets throughout Auckland.
A vegan product must not contain animal products or byproducts, and must not be tested on animals.
Five ACG Parnell College students founded LTEC as part of the Young Enterprises Scheme (YES) in which students set up and run their own business.
Year 13 students Emma Burns, Sylvia Brewer, Emily Grant, Lakisha Patel and Madison McKillen spotted a gap in the market for vegan-friendly pre-mix baking options.
LTEC chief executive Madison McKillen said the students wanted to give kids with dairy or egg allergies the opportunity to bake with their parents.
‘‘Baking with our parents was such a fond memory of our childhood, and we did not want other kids to miss out on this,’’ McKillen said.
LTEC is available in vanilla flavour and only requires the customer to add water.
The teenagers prepare, pack- age, market and finance the product on their own.
New World Stonefields general manager James Fabian said out of the 32,000 products stocked at New World Stonefields there was no other vegan-friendly pre-mix cupcake option.
‘‘The students did their research - they developed a product that was unique, appealing and that customers are buying,’’ he said.
Fabian said he was ‘‘blown away’’ at McKillen’s professionalism.
‘‘To be honest, when Madison presented the product to New World Stonefields, I could not tell the difference between her and a major supplier.’’
Fabian said he would continue to sell the product.
McKillen said the students had not planned to continue LTEC after YES was over, but demand was so high the business would continue.
‘‘We have gotten to the stage where we are in back orders,’’ McKillen said.
The year 13 students will compete in the YES national business finals in October.
Sylvia Brewer, Madison McKillen and Lakisha Patel are completing Year 13 and running a business at the same time.