South Florida Teen Named Young Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year

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Teen Bakery Owner and High School Freshman, Shea Gouldd, Started Business at 14 to Pursue Culinary Passion and Give Back to Community

Palm Beach County high school freshman, Shea Gouldd (15) is named Young Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners at the South Florida chapter banquet and BRAVO awards ceremony, held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March, 2010. Recognized for significant contributions and accomplishments by a young woman business owner age 13-25, the local ninth grader owns and is chef of Shea’s Bakery, a gourmet bakery that she runs from a commercial kitchen in Delray Beach, Florida, baking product to the order and offering local delivery. Gouldd started the business in 2008 at age 14 as a way to continue her passion for baking and further her community service.

“Even when I was a toddler, I’d rather watch cooking shows than cartoons,” says the fresh-faced baker.

"She would push her little step stool up to the counter so she could watch me make dinner and ask if she could help,” says Gouldd’s mother, Lesley Marlo. “So I'd let her snip green beans with scissors, measure rice and things like that. She loved to see how our work would turn into a tasty meal that we could sit and enjoy together."

While the cooking gene may have been passed down, Shea’s mom insists that the teen’s talent for baking is all her own.

“As she got older, Shea’s love of cooking grew to into a passion for baking, something I have almost no experience with,” says Marlo. "She started testing recipes she'd find online or see on TV, and her natural gift became clear right away."

“By seventh grade, I was baking every chance I got,” recalls Gouldd. Then, her single, self-employed mom posed a new challenge. “My mom said I had to find a way to support my expensive habit, so I started taking orders from family friends.”

What started as an order for a homemade brownie-bottomed cheesecake evolved into a full-scale operation supporting seasonal menus of more than 60 items, including gourmet cheesecakes and pies, rich velvety cakes, cupcakes, a signature Pattycake™, cookies, brownies and seasonal breads made with ingredients grown pesticide-free and harvested from the baker’s own backyard.

With virtually no marketing, business grew 300% in one year through word of mouth referrals and began capturing press attention. The young entrepreneur attributes the bakery’s instant success to passion and product quality.

“I use only quality ingredients and test lots of recipes, adding my own twists until it’s something I will be proud to have on the menu,” says Gouldd over a batch of 100 mini cupcakes topped with glistening buttercream.

Earlier this year, Shea and her bakery were featured on the five o’clock news by NBC affiliate WPTV News Channel 5, highlighting the 15-year-old beauty's business success with ringing endorsements for tastiness from anchors Kelly Dunn and Shannon Cake. http://www.wptv.com/content/news/southpbc/boyntonbeach/s ...

Customers can order goods by phone or online at http://www.sheasbakery.com and pick up or opt for delivery for only $5. The first store to carry Shea’s Bakery items, moved 720 cupcakes in one weekend and close to 900 cookies, brownies and breads a second weekend. Two local stores are pursuing co-branding deals.

While certainly remarkable, owning a successful business at the ripe age of 15 is just one line on this motivated teen’s already impressive resume. The BRAVO: Young Entrepreneur of the Year award complements an existing list of accolades, which includes the President's Award for Educational Excellence, Honor Society and community service awards for more than 100 hours of volunteerism per year for the past three years. Shea holds a 4.37 HPA (honors point average) at Spanish River Community High School, where she is enrolled in the school's Entrepreneurial Academy to further her business pursuits through accounting and marketing classes, and she plays tenor saxophone in the school’s decorated marching and symphonic bands. The bakery donates goods to a local soup kitchen where Gouldd has also served, and bakery proceeds are donated to various charities.

“I’m pretty busy,” says Gouldd with a shrug. “But I’m so lucky to have the support I have. I get to make enough money to keep baking, make people happy and give back.” With a twinkling smile, she adds, “Plus, I really, really love it.”

Shea’s Bakery is a woman-owned gourmet bakery that was started by a motivated 14 year-old with a passion for baking, a need for spending money and a desire to give back to her community. The bakery is located in Delray Beach, Florida, and orders may be made by phone or online at http://www.sheasbakery.com.

To read more about Shea or view Shea’s Bakery menu, visit http://www.sheasbakery.com.

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