How many eight-year-olds do you know who are saving up for college by selling home-made cupcakes and cookies at a country market? Audrey made $400 on the first day alongside little sister, Quinn, 5, selling lemonade and gluten-free goodies made with Kinnikinnick baking mixes.
The sisters spent all day Saturday before the market baking together, “It’s so lovely to see them get along so well while they bake’, laughs mom Rachelle. “Audrey helps her younger sister with the measurements and the usual sibling rivalry is forgotten for a bit”.
‘Baking’s no fun if it’s not messy,” quips Rachelle, who’s passed on her passion in the kitchen to her girls. Just like mom, who has a background in early childhood education, the sisters also have a love of learning. And as it turns out, they’ve learnt to like saving money.
“They keep comparing their bank accounts to see who’s fund is biggest’, explains Audrey of how the market stall has brought so many of the girls passions all together. Learning, baking, markets and cash – all the things they’ve been learning about in the classroom, applied to real life.
During the Covid pandemic in the summer of 2020, the girls learnt all about money by playing store. They also baked for hours, one of the most important skills for life if you’re gluten intolerant. Weights, proportions, chemistry, precision...So when the offer went out for kids to run a monthly stall at the local market where their mum also has a booth selling felted crafts for kids, the little Shaver sisters jumped at the chance.
“People at the market loved having a gluten-free option, even though everyone said they couldn’t even tell the goodies were gluten free”, Rachelle adds. That first Sunday, the girls sold about 40 White Cake Mix cupcakes, 40 Chocolate and 40 Sugar Cookies at $1.50 for two.
When asked what they love most about their time at the market, Audrey replies “I like seeing people come to our booth and leave with smiles on their faces.” For Quinn it’s “I like seeing people we know. And eating some of the cupcakes we baked."
Audrey took the lead in making gluten-free signs, decorating the booth and learning how to use the credit card machine to take payments. The young entrepreneurs-in-the-making dealt with all the customers while mom and dad took it in turns keeping an eye on them while also running their own stall at the other end of the market.
|Audrey, 8, Quinn, 5 and mom Rachelle Shaver at the market stall.|
“They made $300 the second month. We agreed they’d get to spend $20 on shopping each and the rest goes to their education fund”, Rachelle points out.
Rachelle is the celiac in the Shaver household, but the girls have grown up gluten-free at home as it’s so much easier to keep mom safe. Recently the eldest, Audrey has also been showing signs of intolerance: stomach pains when she does eat gluten. At least her mom knows what to look out for. For mom, it was a totally different story.
Rachelle only found out at thirty she was celiac, after twelve painful years of misdiagnosis and a string of doctors who had no clue. It wasn’t until a physician fresh out of college tested her that the disease was confirmed. It took two years to feel fully better after putting the whole family on a gluten-free diet. Kinnikinnick White Bread is a firm favourite covered in peanut butter or for grilled cheese, cookies are adored and everyone loves to make and eat pancakes. “Friday night is pizza night in our house, we set out little bowls of toppings and everyone makes their own”, Rachelle says warmly.
The sisters are looking forward to the next market in October, which in Ottawa, Canada means mitts, scarves and fluffy warm coats are in order. As well as hot chocolate instead of lemonade.
When we asked the girls to pick their favourite products from the website as a gift they asked for donuts and muffins as treats, but mostly they wanted Cake Mixes as it would allow them to make and save more for their education fund.
Two little ones with big plans for the future. Quinn wants to be a police officer. Audrey’s already in training--she wants to be an artist and baker.
Rachelle's Instagram @audinroyboutique.