Business classes bake to learn profit-making strategies


baking for business by Anna Xu

Anna Xu

Students of Business Principles’ classes prepared all semester for today’s bakery that will continue through Thursday. The bakery is unlike ordinary bake sales as students must model businesses in the real world and seek to beat their fellow companies in sales and profit.
Stacy Elsbury, the Business Principles teacher, advises her students on the process of starting a business.
“They spend their first month of school writing a resume and a cover letter, and then they interview with an adult,” she said. “This could be an administrator or a business professional I bring in.”
These adults recommend five students who should assume the role of the chief executive officer of their business. Once confirmed by Elsbury, the CEOs interview every student in the class and make job offers for each position: CFO (Chief financial officer), Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Human Resources, Vice President of development and Vice President of global expansion.
Each group makes a business plan to present to Landmark Bank and convince the them to invest in the company; from there, companies move to hire workers from FACS kitchens and digital media to create a menu, logos, banners and advertisements.
“And we pay them with pizza, since we are not legally allowed to pay them with cash,” Elsbury said, “and my students, the management team, are also paid a salary of food but are the last ones to eat because they have to pay back their loan from the bank and their employees [first].”
The profit made will go back into the class to improve the bakery simulation for years to come. Seven years ago, when Elsbury began teaching the class, the project was much smaller as students didn’t have the tents, stands and other items they now do. These resources were bought using the money made by each company; therefore, like any business, making a profit is the ultimate goal.
Marco De La Rosa, CFO of Sugar Daddies, has calculated their expected earnings to the nearest dollar.
“We spent $106 overall, and we expect to make 232,” De La Rosa said.
Aside from profit, the project is graded as the students’ final. Elsbury has set five mystery shoppers to evaluate businesses by customer service, overall look and quality of product.
Winterful Sweets, another company, will sell chocolate-covered Oreos, M&M brownies and chocolate-covered rice crispy treats.
“The most challenging part was choosing which desserts we should sell at our bakery,” Sophie Bones said. “There were some regulations, such as nothing frozen, we had to follow.”
Regardless of rules, the student body is excited for the fun and treats the bakeries will offer. “Last year there was this guy who advertised in a Santa suit,” sophomore Leela Cullity said. “I bought like 15 cups of his hot chocolate. It was really fun, and I loved contributing to this [project].”
Elsbury hopes to build off the success of last year and improve sales even more this year. “Every year I have a different focus point,” Elsbury said. “So something I didn’t think went as well the year before, I try to make better the next year. Cooking is always kind of a nightmare, but I think we had good products definitely better cleanup.”
Did you grab a bakery item? What was your favorite?