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Student stories - Business

Sweet success: students’ vegan cupcake mix hits the shelves

A vegan cupcake mix developed by a Young Enterprise team at ACG Parnell College can now be found on the shelves of major supermarket chains Farro Fresh and New World.

Year 13 students Emma Burns, Sylvia Brewer, Emily Grant, Lakisha Patel and Madison McKillen spotted a gap in the market for vegan-friendly, just-add-water pre-mix baking options.

They formed their business Let Them Eat Cake as part of the Young Enterprise scheme at their school and sold their vegan cupcake mixes through Instagram and at the Parnell markets. The product quickly gained traction – and in June they found themselves pitching the product into the owner of New World Stonefields.

“It was slightly intimidating, but ultimately because I’m so proud of it I think this shone through in my presentation,” CEO Madison said.

Customers are responding positively – both New World and Farro are reordering – and the team is staying on top of the business, running tastings, redesigning packaging and talking to suppliers alongside preparing for their Year 13 Cambridge exams at school.

Business Studies teacher Kate Hawthorn, who runs ACG Parnell College’s Young Enterprise programme, says the girls are a hardworking team with strong leadership and guidance from their Year 13 CEO.

“They’ve worked hard to overcome the challenges faced by their business and this success is down to their perseverance and determination. They have a positive way of working together where they help and support each other and have built such a great relationship with the supermarkets that there are many different ways that the business can grow in the future.”