Many of the pop-up businesses sold out before the event was over
ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce closed out its inaugural Jr. CEO program on Saturday, April 1, with a Jr. CEO Business Day. After weeks of virtual classes, close to 25 young entrepreneurs, ages 6 to 16, sold their products through their own small businesses to the public. The small business fair was held next to La Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with many of the youth-run businesses selling out of their wares.
“Today has been going amazing. The weather is cooperating, it’s sunny out, and our Jr. CEOs are smiling from ear to ear because their booths and their sales are just exploding, and they’re making connections with the community,” said Atascadero Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Josh Cross at the event. “They’re selling their products, and they’re having a great time doing it. I don’t think many of them expected this to be as successful as it has been. So they’re all just grinning with dreams of what they’re going to do with their profits.”
The young entrepreneurs thrived at the Jr. CEO Business Day, selling everything from bracelets, bookmarks, lemon bars, macrame, and much more.
Ava Cuatepotzo was there with her business Ava’s Pupsicle Pop-Up, where she made tasty treats for your four-legged friends. She said she was inspired to create her business because of a Beagle puppy named Charlie and her Snoopy plushie.
Meanwhile, Levi Cogan was at the Business Day selling Birdy Bungalows made from recycled pallets.
“I’ve learned a lot about business and working with money and how to sell things,” said Cogan of the Jr. CEO program.
He added that he got the idea of building birdhouses as a business from seeing one online.
The young business people mixed their creativity with their freshly learned business savvy after five weeks of extensive, interactive virtual workshops and business training led by Cross.
“The Jr. CEO Program is a five-week, virtual training program where we teach Jr. CEOs marketing plans, how to price their product, how to do food handling safety training, how to open a bank account, and how to market their product,” Cross explained. “And it culminates in this Jr. CEO Business Day, where they put all their knowledge to practice, and they are here selling their wares.”
The Jr. CEO Program and Business Day could not have happened without this round’s sponsors: Better Business Bureau, Coast Hills Credit Union, Central Coast Moving Company, Eckerd Connects, and the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education.
Feature Photo: Ava Cuatepotzo mans the booth that sells Ava’s Pupsicle Pop-Up. Photo by Christianna Marks.