EDEN -- The Ogden Valley Open Market has created a way for enterprising young people to shine. Beginning this year, the organizers have offered a Mini Market for entrepreneurs ages 8 and older that is held twice a month until September.
Christine Jouffray, an Ogden Valley Open Market committee member, explained how the Mini Market idea came into being.
"We thought that it was a good opportunity for kids. Kids always have ideas, and they always want to make money in the summer. So we thought, 'Let's do something special for the kids.' We put together a training session for the kids, where we taught them about how to choose a product, how to market it, how to figure out what the cost of the product would be, and then how to sell."
Jouffray said the children are charged a $1 booth fee to represent their overhead costs, and the money collected from that fee goes to the Community Foundation of Ogden Valley for its Amazing Raise charity run.
Weber County commissioners also allowed the children to obtain business licenses for a nominal $1 fee.
"They learn the whole process of what it takes to have an idea, to market that idea, to produce and all these different things," Jouffray said. "I think it makes them a little bit more aware of what goes on around them. When they go to a market, they don't see it quite the same way. They've been behind the counter trying to sell something. Their perspectives change drastically."
Koby Pack, 13, saved his earnings from last year's summer work at Carver's Cove Petting Farm and started his own shaved-ice truck.
Jouffray was impressed with Koby's initiative.
"Now he has all of his licenses -- he has his business license, his food handler's, his events permit and everything. The kid is totally legit and can go anywhere."
Koby was nonchalant about his success.
"It kind of just hit me on the head one winter," Koby said of his shaved-ice idea. "I looked it up on Google, found all these different stores that would get me all the supplies I needed. Then it slowly just started coming together from just brainstorming all winter. It just all kinda fell into place."
Koby revamped his grandpa's old hunting trailer, with the help of his father, to turn it into KJP's Fine Shaved Ice. Though it was hard work, Koby said it's never too early to listen to your heart's desires. "Just chase your dreams, no matter how young you are."
Savannha Day, 16, was selling accessories with her friend Katie Edwards, 16, to afford a trip to Disneyland for Katie's senior trip. Savannha said she and Katie have learned a lot about money, designing and organization by owning their business, Keep It Simple, Sweetie.
"We made a bunch of websites and learned how to incorporate business with Internet," Savannha said.
Joseph Eilander, 10, said his favorite product is his block men.
"They are cute little men, and they have cute little hands and feet, too. They're made out of blocks and they have yarn and beads to attach them."
Joseph said he has learned a lot by participating in the Mini Market, but handling money was the biggest lesson. He also said he had some trouble coming up with his business name, but after a couple of weeks he nailed it.
"I wanted 'shack' at the end and I'd been studying sea creatures. Some of my favorite ones are sharks. So, I did the Shark Shack," Joseph said he also considered Frog Shack and Fun With Toys before settling on Shark Shack.
Mariah Montgomery, 16, and her sister Brianna, 12, run Backwoods Wood Fired Pizza on Mini Market days with the help of their parents, Beau and Leeann, and their older brother, Brayden.
Mariah said the most important lesson she has learned from her experience with the Mini Market is compassion.
"You have a little more sympathy for kids with lemonade stands."
Jouffray is happy with the Mini Market's success and the valuable lessons it teaches the children who participate.
"This is a learning ground. It's an empty field, and we put these little pots out there, and they grow."
More information on the Mini Market can be found on the Ogden Valley Open Market website at http://www.ogdenvalleyopenmarket.com/index.html.