As an intern at Mill Village Farms this summer, I have the opportunity to lead a group of teenagers through an entrepreneurship program teaching them job skills and life skills. My team is made up of three members of our youth crew program: Wilhelmina, Will, and Dylan. Our goal this summer is to partner with Chancey from Banana Manna to create a joint product that benefits both groups. We are using fresh zucchini that we have grown and harvested at our farms to bake our zucchini bread.
During our Wednesday entrepreneurship classes, we learned to create and implement a business model plan. It is exciting to watch my group apply the material they learned in class to our project.
The first step in our project was deciding the story we wanted to tell this summer. We discussed our goals and brainstormed with sticky notes, concluding that we wanted to offer a zucchini bread to families who don’t have time to bake, individuals looking to support a local organization and “bread lovers,” among other customer groups. We want to provide a healthy and appealing product to the public that communicates the Mill Village Farms story.
Our first field trip this summer was an adventure to Banana Manna bakery where Chancey has her storefront. We got to hear about her life story and she even let us bake with her! We made pumpkin chocolate chip bread together and Chancey shared baking tips and wisdom from her experiences as an entrepreneur.
The next step in our project was testing recipes. We researched on the Internet to find a couple different recipes for zucchini bread. The Vista House, an intentional Christian living community, has been extremely gracious to let us use their kitchen. We first tested two recipes and sampled them both to see what we liked and didn’t like about each. We took aspects of each recipe that we enjoyed and combined them to create a new and improved recipe. For instance, we liked using applesauce instead of canola oil and we loved the unique flavor that the lemon zest brought to the second recipe. We all loved the new recipe! It was super exciting to see how our trial and error process yielded the final zucchini bread that we had been hoping to create all throughout this process.
We have been keeping track of our donations, spending and overhead costs to build a budget for our business model plan this summer. We hope to raise at least $300 in funds to cover our resources, product testing and packaging.
I’ve learned to equip the teenagers with the resources and ideas they need and then to take a step back and let them make connections.
I think this experience has helped me to become a better leader. I’ve learned to equip the teenagers with the resources and ideas they need and then to take a step back and let them make connections. It’s been incredible to see how much we have grown as a team and how we have accomplished many of our goals as the Bread Winnerz. I look forward to the rest of the summer working and learning alongside my amazing crew!
- Kristina, MVF Intern
Your donation allows us to teach entrepreneurship to high school students through project based learning. You can donate to the teen entrepreneur program here.