NILES — They say variety is the spice of life, and Caleb Mohn has shown he’s happy to add spice to his life by keeping variety in mind.
“My dad and I tasted it at first and it was the worst thing you can taste at first, then we added stuff to it to make it better,” Caleb, 9, of Liberty, said with a laugh.
The elements he added to his first attempt at creating a spice potpourri were salt, pepper and cardamom (a spice that tastes like ginger), said Caleb, a third-grade student at the Lewis Center for Gifted Learning in Youngstown.
He also added a stronger taste for learning effective ways of doing business, thanks to his attendance at Saturday’s Youth Market Day at the Eastwood Mall.
Host of the four-hour event was Junior Achievement of the Mahoning Valley, in partnership with the mall.
Caleb was accompanied by his parents, Larry and Sarra Mohn, who helped their son sell his spice variations, many of which included brown sugar as the main ingredient. Some of them were intended to be added to meat products, and some others “the best taste of everything,” observed Caleb.
“The three pillars of Junior Achievement are entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and career/work readiness, and this event somehow ties all three together,” Morgan Conley, JA’s program and special events coordinator, noted.
A few months ago, JA held a workshop at the Eastwood Mall to prepare for the Saturday market, she said, adding that young people aged 6 or 7 to 18 representing about 16 businesses in the area were there. participated.
Prizes were awarded in three categories: People’s Choice, Best Most Creative Product and Best Product.
Items and services available included handmade pouches, wristbands, crochet caps, key chains, collars, gluten-free treats, cat products and a host of landscaping services, largely part thanks to Dante Deuley, 13, from Champion.
“I have my own equipment so far. I got a deal on a zero turn from my neighbor” Dante, an eighth-grader at Champion Middle School, said, referring to a riding mower that has virtually no turning radius and cuts grass in a linear striped pattern.
Dante, who helps run Wise Guys Lawn Care, added that he’s been saving his money for about two years to buy a host of other landscaping items such as a pressure washer, leaf blower, grass trimmer and a push mower.
The young entrepreneur remembers earning money mowing a lawn for a friend of his mother. The result may have been shorter grass for the friend, but it also led to a growth in Dante’s interest in landscaping, he said.
His foray into the business world – bolstered by Saturday’s Youth Market Day – taught him the value of hard work, punctuality at work, good money management skills and the importance of saving money. money and make major repairs, Dante explained.
“He’s such a hardworking kid and I’m so proud of him,” his mother, Kristi Deuley, said, adding that her son is also a straight college student who has football as part of his busy schedule.
“I sell sugar scrubs,” Olivia Adkins, 8, a second-grade student at Lakeview Elementary School, talked about her role at Liv’s Scrubs, a Cortland-based company that specializes in a variety of skin exfoliation products derived primarily from coconut or olive oil.
Olivia’s mother, Angela Adkins, says her daughter’s interest in selling items began when she learned a few tricks of the trade on popular social networking site Pinterest.
Last November, the girl also started creating Christmas gifts and decorations, which further piqued her interest in selling things. Olivia’s efforts have the support of both parents, her mother added.
The 8-year-old was also quick to share some personal advice that can lead to business success for herself and others.
“Make sure you’re nice and friendly, make sure it’s the right consistency and you’re complete, and work hard to get good.” she advised.
The winners of the annual Youth Market Day sponsored by Junior Achievement of the Mahoning Valley were:
• People’s Choice Award: Dante Deuley from Champion of Wise Guys Lawn Care
• Best Product Award: Caleb Mohn of Liberty, Caleb Spice
• Best Show Award: Destiny and Rylee Weaver, Ry’s and Shine Bakery
SOURCE: Mahoning Valley Junior Achievement