Cafe Society

Lyla Padden has a successful cupcake business -- at the age of twelve

When adults think about starting a business, they worry about loans and other terrifying prospects that often stop them from following their dreams. But young entrepreneur Lyla Padden only considered positive outcomes when she started her cupcake business, Flour Gal, at the age of ten. Maybe that's why she has been so successful, and continues to sell her confections two years later.

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Padden's love of baking drove her to start her own business. "I've always loved baking, ever since I was little," says the twelve-year-old. "One day, when I was off from school, I was really bored and I decided, since I loved baking, to start a cupcake business. So I put fliers around and I got business pretty quick so I stuck with it."

Padden is dedicated to baking from scratch and using fresh ingredients. But it can be hard for a twelve-year-old to balance a business with school, sports, friends and family, and fortunately, her family has been "really supportive," she says. "So they'll help me out if I'm like at a softball game or something."

She's had a lot of help from her community as well. Padden won the Colorado Young Entrepreneur Contest this year, as well as the Rockies Venture Club Colorado Capital Conference Youth Entrepreneurship Award. She also presented at the 24th Colorado Capital Conference, and got the opportunity to be mentored by Kent Thiry, chairman and CEO of DaVita.

To give back to the community that has helped her keep her business going, Padden likes to donate to charity. This month, she has been donating 10 percent of the proceeds of every dozen cupcakes sold to breast cancer research. Padden lost her little brother and grandfather to cancer, and wants to help find a cure.

But in the short-term, she has another goal. "I hope to have a storefront by when I graduate high school and then go off to Princeton," she says. She plans to study business there -- and keep her cupcake empire growing.

To learn more about Padden's business, visit the Flour Gal website.

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Nathalia Vélez
Contact: Nathalia Vélez