The staff of life can be the stuff of income. The Watson brothers' whole wheat loaves bring in over $1,000 a year.
MOTHER'S CHILDREN: Three children find business success when baking and selling homemade bread.
Make Money Selling Homemade Bread
Benjamin and Joseph Watson
Three years ago, when we were nine (Joseph) and eight
(Benjamin), we met a lady who was selling homemade bread at local
fairs and meetings. We liked the idea, so we asked our mom if we could get a Bosch break maker and start our own business: Watson Bread Brothers.
We made some mistakes at first—like on the first
batch when we poured all the water into the bowl of flour
instead of the other way around. One time we.forgot to put
the yeast in the dough. The bread looked sort of funny in
the oven—it wouldn't rise! We tried sprinkling a
little bit of yeast on top of the loaves, but that didn't
We worked out our problems, though, and now we're doing
swell. We grind our own flour with a flour mill and make
four to six loaves of honey-sweetened, whole wheat bread at
a time. We normally sell 16 loaves of bread a week at $2
each (we could probably sell them for $2.50). One time we
baked 100 loaves for a school fair (it took us two weeks)
and made $200 in one day! We deposited more than $1,000 in
our savings account in our first year of doing business.
We're also Bosch dealers, earning commissions from selling
the company's flour mill, bread maker and other kitchen
machines. We school at home with our mom, so our bread
business is an important part of our education We do our
own bookkeeping, ordering, banking, promotional planning
and tax reporting as well as our regular school lessons.
And we still find time to ski, bike, fish, camp and play
Having your own business is fun. You can make a lot more
money than most kids get in allowances, and it makes us
happy to know people are getting good nutrition from eating
our 100% whole wheat bread. We realize most kids can't
afford $500 for a bread maker and flour mill. Maybe you
could do like we did—our mom bought the machines and,
in exchange, we give her at least two loaves of bread each
After three really great years, we're convinced: A home
bread business really is a great way to earn while you
I really enjoy baking bread. After a hard afternoon of
being interrupted by my little sister Clare while I'm
trying to figure out algebra problems, I can take out all
my frustrations on the bread I'm kneading. It's also fun
putting a little ball of dough in the bottom of a greased
bowl, covering it with a towel, placing it in a sunny
window and coming back an hour later to find it's risen all
the way to the top of the bowl.
About a year ago, I started selling bread. Mom and Dad
invested $9.26 in flour, honey, milk powder, corn oil, salt
and yeast to get me started. I decided to sell my loaves
for $1.75 each.
I made a flier and asked my dad to make some photocopies of
it at work. When he got home, he told me two secretaries
saw him copying the flier and both ordered some. I was
ecstatic! After I stopped dancing, I made the bread.
I make either 100% whole wheat bread or half-white,
half-whole wheat, according to my customer's taste. I make
three loaves at a time, selling two to my regular customers
(I have five). The third one goes to Mom at a reduced rate
to pay for the use of the oven.
Before you sell a new product, you have to experiment with
it until you get it right (your family will make excellent
guinea pigs). I'd been making bread for a long time before
I marketed it, but about a year ago my grandmother, a bagel
fanatic, asked me to start making and selling bagels. I dug
out a whole wheat bagel recipe. The first thing that struck
me was that you have to boil bagels in water for five
minutes. I couldn't imagine why, but I mixed up the dough,
kneaded it and let it rise twice. Then I boiled some water
and dropped four puny-looking bagels into it. Five minutes
later, I lifted the bagels out and was flabbergasted. They
were three times bigger than before! I finished boiling and
baking them. They were too salty and crumbly, but were
still delicious. I've since cut down on the salt and
learned to put them together more firmly—and now I'm
ready to sell bagels as well as bread.
[Editor's Note: Emily Murphy runs a home baking business without either
machine the brothers use in their business.]