Gaston Co. bakery relies on kid entrepreneur to cut egg costs
DALLAS, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – High egg prices add up to high frustration lately.
Instead of walking on eggshells, a Gaston County businesswoman found a way to ease the pain of soaring costs.
Courtney Johnson rises to special occasions in the kitchen of Sweet Anna’s Bakery in Dallas. A great cake’s wow factor is the job’s sweetest part.
“I love everyone’s reaction, “said Johnson, whose business has grown largely through word of mouth. “And they’ve just been blown away by it.”
Baking is a science.
“You have to be exact in your measurements,” Johnson said.
On the other hand, the costs fluctuate wildly these days.
“Butter has gotten more expensive,” she said. “Even just this past week, powdered sugar went up 14 cents a bag.”
Don’t even get her started on the price of eggs, which has spiked because of the ongoing bird flu epidemic and the cost of chicken feed.
“A year and a half ago, I guess it was, I was paying $2.42 for five dozen in a box of 60. Now it’s as high as $25,” said Johnson, who was so shell-shocked, she took a flyer on a new source of eggs.
Rylen Robbins of Dallas is 11 going on a dozen years old.
“Hey hey hey!” he yelled, holding an uncooperative hen during our interview. “Chill out, chill out.”
“If you can stock me every week, I will get as many as I can from you,” said Johnson, explaining their arrangement. “And supplement from the grocery store.”
“Now, what are y’all doing with this egg?” he said in the chicken coop, presumably talking to the chickens.
He started Rylen’s Eggs about a year ago.
“The first time we went to a sale with my daddy’s friend, I wanted a chicken, and then we started,” the boys said.
Now he’s up to more than 20 birds. He stamps every egg he sells; the bakery is his biggest client.
Johnson pays about five dollars for a dozen eggs from a big box store, while Rylen charges three bucks.
“I was like, ‘Oh, that’s gonna save me money!'” she said.
That leaves little inventory for Rylen’s other customers.
“People get mad while we’re doing what we can to make money. I make good money off this, though,” Robbins said.
His father encourages him to save his earnings.
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Rylen also spends his money on Funko Pop! figures. The entrepreneur dreams of expanding the collection and adding another career as his egg empire grows.
“These would be my two jobs, I could make 50 grand a year being a fireman and multi-millions (in the egg business),” the ambitious boy said.
Unlike the decorative sign in Johnson’s kitchen, farm-fresh eggs are NOT sold here. That’s where Ryen comes in.
“Hey, how are you?” she said to Rylen during a delivery. “Thank you so much! How was school?”
“Good,” he replied.
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Every delivery helps ease the burden of Eggflation.
“I’m gonna find the savings where I can,” Johnson says.
“Is Rylen your hero?” I asked.
“Right now, yes, ha ha!” said Johnson.
Or maybe the kid is just the wind beneath her wings.
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