Not one detail was too small or overlooked in her business plan.
The teen decided what the layout of her bakery would look like, how many employees she would need, what they should wear and how they would be evaluated.
Alyx Sundheimer, a senior at Franklin Community High School, researched the best places to get cleaning supplies and flour and what tax forms she would have to file if she owned a small bakery.
Her attention to detail won her a gold medal.
Sundheimer won the award in entrepreneurship at the national Family, Career and Community Leaders of America competition in San Antonio.
Her 63-page business plan detailing how a future bakery — Alyx’s Cakery, Cookies and Chocolates — would be operated earned the first national gold medal the school has received at the conference, family and consumer science teacher Barb Torrey said.
The glossy binder that has nearly everything planned she would need to run the business earned a 92 out of 100. Judges just wanted to see an employee application to make it complete. They complimented her attention to detail and taking the extra step to research small-business grants.
Her work earned her a $1,000 scholarship to Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island.
Her plan took nearly a year to complete and involved calling a bakery owner for advice on tax forms and employee documents, researching small-business loans at local banks and pricing kitchen equipment.
She was in it for more than a medal.
Sundheimer wants to make Alyx’s Cakery, Cookies and Chocolates a reality.
She spent part of her childhood learning baking secrets from her grandmother and started cake decorating in middle school. She currently sells cakes out of her parent’s kitchen under her future bakery name.
After business and culinary school and working for a few years to save money, Sundheimer said, she wants to open her bakery.
“It is something I want to pursue in the future,” she said.
This is the first year Franklin has had a student at the national conference, Torrey said.
Students must earn a gold medal at the state level to earn a berth in the nationals. One student from Franklin did a few years ago but couldn’t attend the national competition. Neither could the alternate, who also was a Franklin student, Torrey said.
Sundheimer’s success is starting to make students think about what is possible in the program, Torrey said.
Dozens of students submit projects to the state competition, but few are the in-depth time-consuming projects that could earn a spot at nationals and a national gold medal, Torrey said.
“(Students) realized that they can go from the classroom to competing at state levels and even national levels,” she said.
While her work was mostly done after the state contest in March, she wanted to do more before the national competition over the summer.
She met with two teachers from another district who advised her to add the cost of cleaning supplies to her budget and to beef up her advertising plans, Sundheimer said.
She realized she couldn’t miss the smallest details, such as making plans to make sure employees knew health codes and when to clean the equipment and what federal regulations were for labor.
“I am very proud of this project. I wasn’t sure going into this what some aspects would be,” she said.