Local 13-Year-Old Baker Makes Cookies for College
If you live in Crystal Valley, you may have heard of the busy baker in your neighborhood who fills cookie orders every week and does a banner business. He’s a 13-year-old entrepreneur named Billy Clark who’s been baking cookies since his father, William, showed him how at age six.
Billy and his little brother, Lucas, who is 10, had a little vending machine enterprise and made enough quarters from selling candy to give them a taste of kiddy capitalism.
“I still wanted to make money and liked making cookies,” he says.
The family of four would all watch the TV show Master Chef and became fans of Christina Tosi – a woman who has spent the last decade building the bakery empire Milk Bar in New York City thanks to her signature birthday cake, and popular Compost Cookies and Cereal Milk products.
Billy’s mom Lisa says, “We’re actually from New York and got to visit the bakeries when we went back.” That family focus spurred the budding young businessman to take online cooking classes. He wanted to learn more about baking and perfecting his craft.
Billy’s Cookies for College Takes Off
Billy got his start during the pandemic last year. “During that time with contactless transactions going on, we would put the cookies in our milk box, and people would leave the cash in exchange,” says Billy’s mom Lisa
Billy’s most popular cookie offering is chocolate chip and he started selling them for $5/dozen. “The first money that he made was in five $1 coins which we turned into a memento and mounted it on the wall,” Lisa says.
He slowly started increasing the price after moving to Castle Rock when the demand for his cookies increased. “I got bigger and bigger orders,” he says, so in order to buy his own equipment, Billy began charging $10/dozen.
Billy outgrew his KitchenAid® appliances and so when a catering business liquidated some of its equipment, Billy bought their used Hobart for a FRACTION of its $30K+ retail price. He uses the money from sales to purchase ingredients and packaging materials – and puts the rest away in a college savings account.
Recipes, Flavors and Finances
“My husband does Billy’s bookkeeping, and if he sells over $200 in a calendar month, , he gets 10 percent of the net profits for spending money. If he sells less than $200, he gets a flat $20 allowance,” says Lisa. “Billy actually helps maintain that spreadsheet and is learning about gross vs. net, and margins, etc.”
Billy’s Cookies for College biz is “really fun,” Billy says. “I have some great recipes – like I took a normal chocolate chip recipe and learned how to modify it (after taking cooking classes). That’s the one I use today.”
The Clarks moved to Crystal Valley in September, and some of the considerations when they were choosing a floor plan were for Billy’s Cookies for College. “We looked specifically for an oversized kitchen island and double ovens,” says Lisa, “for when Billy’s making 20 dozen cookies at a time.”
While Billy makes the typical cookie fare that appeals to consumers, chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodle – Billy’s favorite. He also adds stir-ins like Reese’s Pieces® and sometimes creates special flavors.
New Flavors and How to Order
“One of the things Christina Tosi says is that food has a memory. And so, if Billy had a taste memory, like from a Boy Scout experience making s’mores, or a favorite breakfast cereal, that’s the next flavor,” Lisa says. “And he’s working on it.”
Billy thinks he’ll probably want to be a baker when he grows up, and if you’d like a dozen of Billy’s Cookies for College you can reach out to Billy on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/BillysCookies, or call/text Lisa at 410-258-3385 to place an order. Or, you can ask for the cookie dough and bake them yourself!
Christmas Cooking in Crystal Valley
What a great idea?! Get some cookies for Christmas and help out an aspiring baker in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley. If you don’t live here yet, come and explore the new homes surrounded by nature and only minutes from the town of Castle Rock. With decorated models from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton, the ranch or two-story models – are priced from the $400s.