By Francesca Cassola, Sophmore Franklin & Marshall & KidBacker Intern
Craving a unique dessert waffle to satisfy your sweet tooth? 15-year-old Keon Howard AKA Batter Boy has the solution: KaFFLES. KaFFLES by Batter Boy are cake-flavored waffles with unique drizzles on top of them. You can choose from a variety of flavors for your KaFFLE including vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, orange cake and more. You can also choose which drizzle flavor you would like, such as vanilla or chocolate.
In the summer of 2014, Keon was accepted to Buffalo Prep, a very competitive preparatory academic program. Keon also wanted to get a summer job but realized he couldn’t get hired based on the hours he needed to put into this program.
Keon decided to create his own business, so he could choose the hours he worked and, more importantly, pursue something he was passionate about. Keon’s love for making waffles began when his grandmother gave him a waffle maker for his birthday. This love turned into his business KaFFLES by Batter Boy. Keon’s name “Batter Boy” is a play on words. Obviously, the batter refers to waffle batter, but he also wanted to honor his late grandfather who loved baseball and always encouraged him to do his best. Keon is busy with business as he prepares for his Freshmen year at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. I had a chat with Keon about his business endeavor.
KidBacker: What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Keon Howard: Being an entrepreneur means providing something that will encourage and make people happy.
KB: Are your parents entrepreneurs?
KH: Yes, they both are.
KB: What initiated the idea to start your business? What pain point do you solve?
KH: I wanted a job, but my mom wanted me to focus on this 14-month academic program I was accepted to. Her compromise was to give me the start up money for my own business I could operate in my free time.
KB: How did you fund your business?
KH: My mom gave me all the start up money for my first event and showed me how to budget to fund myself for everything in the future.
KB: What were the biggest challenges you faced when launching your business? How did you overcome them?
KH: I was really nervous when I hosted my first event and was not sure that people would show, but I told enough people so that I got support. Now when I host an event, I am more excited than nervous.
KB: What did you wish you knew when you first launched your business?
KH: I wish that I knew more about social media when I first launched my business. Knowing would have helped me market KaFFLES.
KB: How did you secure your first customers?
KH: My mom advertised through her Facebook page. I also hosted an event for friends and family to see if they liked the product; they loved it so I knew others would too.
KB: Do you have any mentors? If so, who? How do they help you? On what frequency?
KH: Yes, I have a business mentor named Michelle Barron. I can call or email her anytime. We try to meet face to face every couple of months. She helped me create a business plan and gave me ideas for my logo.
KB: If you had three tips to give other young people who want to start their own business, what would they be?
KH: Have a good attitude, always be professional, and do something you are passionate about.
KB: Why should young people consider becoming entrepreneurs?
KH: Young people should consider becoming entrepreneurs to help others and to create opportunities for themselves.
KaFFLES Crowdfunding Campaign: Business Expansion
Keon is crowdfunding using KidBacker’s crowdfunding tool to raise $ 1,340 to purchase new equipment, a food cart and pay for his patent. If you are interested in supporting his campaign, Keon is offering samples of KaFFLES. If you don’t live in the Buffalo area, he can also send a KaFFLES to you in the mail!
To contribute and help a young entrepreneur grow, donate today by clicking here.
KaFFLES by Batter Boy (TM) At-a-Glance
Location: Buffalo, NY
Founder’s Age: 15
Business: Culinary Arts
Mission: To provide delicious treats for the people of Buffalo
Website: NA please visit their Facebook Page
To find out more about KaFFLES by Batter Boy: Facebook
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