Young Entrepreneur Turns Family Treat Into Dream Business

CHICAGO (CBS) — While some kids spent their summer playing video games, one 12-year-old on the South Side was busy building his dream business.

Since he was a baby, Jayden Hammond’s parents have taught him the benefits of entrepreneurship.

Needless to say, his parents were excited when, at 12 years old, he asked if he could start a gourmet vegan popcorn company.

Building from a recipe used on family movie night, Jayden created three flavors.

“We have the classic, which is a savory garlicky cheesy flavor. That’s the flavor that started it all. Our second flavor is the Ethiopian barbecue,” he said.

The third is a simple olive oil and sea salt blend.

Jayden’s learning that business lessons are easier to handle when you’re young.

“You get to learn from your mistakes, that’s number one. Number two, you get a lot more praise. Three, it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

His 8-year-old sister Indira admitted it’s not always easy working for her big brother.

“I feel happy sometimes, but sometimes I don’t feel happy, because Jayden’s always bossing me around like I’m a baby,” she said.

Mom and dad, on the other hand, couldn’t be happier.

“It excites us very much, because we know he’s going to be alright. He’s going to be alright no matter what, because he can define his own path,” Teresa Hammond said.

Jayden used some of his profits to send his mother and sister to Cuba on a field trip, and he donates 5 percent of his earnings to the Flint water crisis.

Every weekend, the family spends their time growing the business together at festivals and farmer’s markets around the city. You can meet this chief popcorn popper and buy J-Rock’s Pop gourmet vegan popcorn at the Healthy Food Hub Market Day on Saturday at 2423 E. 75th St.

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