LaSalle-Backus student bakes up business 

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Most mornings, Kayla  wakes up and whips up fresh cupcake batter. Some days, the 11-year-old prepares batter for a batch of Caramel Macchiato, some days it’s Cinnamon French Toast, and other days Coco Loco.

Come school time, Kayla hands the batter over to her mother and business partner, Lynn Kimble, and heads out for a day of sixth grade at LaSalle-Backus Education Campus. While she’s at school – her favorite subject is reading – her mom ices finishing touches to the sweet cakes.

After school, Kayla does her homework first. Her commitment to academics reaps reward: She proudly brings home A’s and B’s. Once she has completed her school-related responsibilities, she devotes her evenings to selling the cupcakes she prepared that morning.

A key feature of Kayla’s business, KK Cupcakes, is mobility. Kayla sells her cakes on street corners in her home Ward 4, and also travels to Dupont Circle on weekends for the bustling market there. At Dupont, she pairs with musicians for “beats and treats,” an opportunity for customers to snack on her cupcakes while enjoying the music of a local band.

Another emphasis of the business is on health. “The products we sell are sweet,” says Lynn, “but we keep it wholesome by using real ingredients and healthy sweeteners.” When customers buy a Strawberry Banana treat from KK, they receive a cake made from real fruit and sweetened by alternatives to refined sugar, such as agave nectar.

Kayla’s two favorite flavors are Red Velvet and Peanut Butter Truffle. Her mom loves Chocolate Graham, which is made with a crumble texture on bottom and a cream cheese icing dollop on top. Kayla often tweaks the batter, or invents new recipes entirely. “I get my ideas for new flavors while I’m baking,” she said.

Lynn manages her daughter’s website, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Youtube account, but the recipe creating is all Kayla. “She just has a knack for coming up with these baking ideas,” Lynn said.

Kayla started baking when she was age 8 and went into business two months ago. Her motivation for working is the example set by her mother. “I wanted to be an entrepreneur just like my mom,” she said.

Kayla’s advice for children interested in starting a new business is to stay inspired and optimistic. “It’s good to start when you’re young,” she said, “and to keep focusing positive energy into your ideas.”

Check out Kayla’s cupcake stand, and tweet her at @iLoveKKcupcakes with which flavor you like best!

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