Seven-year-old Miles Louison was browsing through a cookbook when he saw something that caught his eye: sushi made out of candy. Five years later, he's the owner of Sushimee Candy, and is known as the Candy Sushi Kid.
Business is going swimmingly.
The inspiration for Sushimee came from a Rachel Ray cookbook tailored for kids. "I thought it would be cool to try it, so we tried it and we really liked the idea," Miles remembers. "So I decided to make a business out of it." He came up with his own recipes using ingredients like licorice, gummy worms and fruit leather, and began selling candy sushi to family and friends.
After local media outlets started mentioning Sushimee Candy, Miles wound up on CNN. "That's really when it started picking up," he says.
Miles is now in sixth grade. Last November, he delivered a sixty-second pitch in a bid to do a five-minute presentation at Startup Weekend Denver. He won the contest, and got to pitch his business to 1,200 entrepreneurs and investors. He also won a chance to be mentored by Linda Enstrom of Enstrom's Candies.
Since then, Miles has appeared on the Nickelodeon show Figure It Out and made a presentation with Lyla Paddenat the Colorado Capital Conference hosted by the Rockies Venture Club. Speaking in front of a crowd holds no horrors for him: "It wasn't nerve-wracking for me because that wasn't my first time speaking in front of that many people," he says.
Giving back is important to Miles; he chooses a different charity every year to receive a portion of his profits. This year he decided to work with Project C.U.R.E., which ships unused medical supplies from the U.S. to third-world countries.
Miles plans to study chemistry in college; he's not sure that he'll keep his business going until then. "I just think that you never know what will happen," he says.
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To learn more about his business or make and online order, visit the Sushimee Candy website.