During the past year living in a pandemic, many people have turned to hobbies, new and old, to help past the time. Whether it’s a newfound affinity for gardening or an obsession with creating your own starter for homemade sourdough, we’ve all found exciting ways to bring joy into our lives in such uncertain times.
Jayden Cline is 13 years old and he discovered a new passion of his this past year: baking brownies! With school transfering to online learning and most restaurants and movie theatres closed, Jayden had a lot of freetime at home and not a lot to do to keep himself occupied. Jayden’s mother, Jen Cline, frequently limited Jayden’s screen time, encouraging him to read or explore other creative outlets.
“During the pandmeic, it’s made things a little more difficult,” she explained. “He loves eating brownies, so he started researching homemade recipes and practicing and trying them out.” What started out as a whim and a way to satisfy a craving, turned into something more than Jayden or his mother anticipated. Jayden’s relatives began purchasing his brownies as a way to further motivate his passion. This inspired Jayden to try and transform his new hobby into a business.
After discussing his hopes with his mom, and spending over a week researching and developing, Jayden created a business plan. He presented it to his father, in hopes of earning a “startup loan.” Jayden’s parents were able to jump on this opportunity to teach Jayden about business and responsibility, while simultaneously encouraging him completely.
In addition to his love for baking and brownies, Jayden is also on the autism spectrum. According to his mother, he is an extreme perfectionist who thrives on a tight schedule. “Every single batch is exactly the same,” she explained. “And if you order peanut butter brownies, you will get the same taste every single time.”
Jayden decided to sell his brownies as brownie bites that he packages in jars. This lead to his business’s name, “Jayden’s Brownie Jars.” He takes in orders through a Facebook group that his mom administrates, and has already set and reached two of his financial goals. Jayden’s top priority was paying back his father’s loan, and the moment that he had saved up enough, he did just that. Next, Jayden saved up for what many baker’s find to be an essential tool — a stand mixer. Now, he’s saving once more to eventually open his own bakery, which will, of course, only sell brownies.
“He wants to sell just a whole bunch of different brownies, and he only wants to hire people with autism to work there,” Jayden’s mom said. He spent a month recipe developing and won’t share his secrets with anyone. Jayden’s most popular brownies are peanut butter, but not closely behind are sugar-free, which he developed for his diabetic grandfather.
Jayden’s advice to other teens his age who are looking to start their own business: “Do your research, come up with a business plan and don’t give up.” To learn more about Jayden’s brownie business, or to put in a local order, be sure to check out his Facebook page!Whizzco