Shy 10-year-old?

When you first meet Isabelle (Izzy) Gil, you might think she’s a shy 10-year-old. However, when you get her talking about her interests in life, you will encounter a completely different person.Young Entrepreneurs Get a Taste of Business

Izzy is genuine, spunky, creative, and curious. Recently, she’s became quite entrepreneurial as well, transforming a life-threatening allergy to eggs into a part-time, money-making business called Gil Bakes.

With the help of her mother, Adrienne Gil, she rifled through cookbooks and spoke with local bakers to create gluten-free and vegan donuts and cupcakes. Izzy takes the lead, while Adrienne brings things together and works as her sous chef. Izzy is also taking cooking classes at Main Street Middle School through an after-school program. Using local products as much as possible, Izzy created some really amazing combinations, including a chocolate doughnut with a fresh raspberry glaze, using raspberries picked the previous day at LePage Farm.

Community Support

Her first community support came from Richard Sheir of The Quirky Pet, who offered to support young entrepreneurs on Saturday mornings from 11 am to 1:30 pm. He created a banner that was placed above his store window, gave them the sidewalk space in front of his store for them set up their tables, and helped them with suggestions on how to use social media in their marketing, as well as getting change for that day’s sales. The idea was to encourage young people to explore their creative sides while learning real-world business principles.

He had sent out an entry form in June to the three schools in Montpelier and received enough interest to cover five weekends during the summer. One of those respondents was Izzy, who sold her key lime cupcakes with a lemon glaze, apple cider doughnuts, “FunFetti” cupcakes, and, of course, the amazing chocolate doughnuts with the raspberry glaze. She made about one dozen of each and sold everything. The money she made was put back into the business to cover expenses and buy more products. Plus, there was a little left over for her special purchases, such as candy or movie tickets.

Recognition

This success also caught the eye of Jen and Kip Roberts at Onion River Outdoors, who asked if she would be interested in selling her baked goods on Saturday mornings during the summer to complement the 802 Coffee in the lounge area. She managed to bake for three Saturdays, making another round of her specialties, and again, selling out. Another success! This was followed shortly by Kids’ Day at the Capital City Farmers’ Market. Again, Izzy shined with her amazing creations and was the first to sell out.
When you ask Izzy what she likes best about her baking business, she says “It sounded like fun, and I really like to cook. I also like making my own money.” It also gives Izzy and her mom the chance to bond, particularly over music. Izzy says, “Mom knows all the words to every ’80s’ song that comes on the radio.” But it was also an education, with challenges such as speaking to adults about her products and explaining her egg allergy. She also felt that she learned quite a lot about marketing and managing money.

As to the future of Izzy’s baking career, it’s currently at 350 degrees in the oven.