The Herald Bulletin

March 27, 2013

Making dough

Entrepreneur, at 12, starts her own baking business

By Abbey Doyle
For The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Emma Williams’ dad may call her entrepreneurial undertaking a “modern-day lemonade stand” but the quick-witted 12-year-old knows better.

“It isn’t lemonade,” Emma deadpans. “They are doughnuts.”

Emma D’s Bakery has been in business for about two years. The Liberty Christian sixth-grader rises early nearly every Sunday to fry or bake tasty treats. Then she’ll often sell them to church members and friends.

It started after her grandmother Diane Morosko gave Emma a doughnut maker for Christmas. Soon after, Emma and her mom, Kim Williams, made their first batch of doughnuts. It just “took off from there,” Emma said

Kim Williams is the former director of XL Marketing, owned by the same company as The Herald Bulletin. She recently accepted a post as vice president for resource development at the Madison County United Way. Emma’s father, Chris Williams, is director of communications at Anderson University.

After finding success with the doughnut maker, Emma quickly realized she needed to graduate to doughnut-shaped baking pans and a fryer.

Now, her favorite doughnut recipe book shows signs of being well loved — pages are mottled with dried dough, some pages are stuck together with glaze and the cover has a slight dusting of powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Emma’s the type of kid, though, who always has some kind of business up her sleeve, the 12-year-old said with a smile. She laughed recalling an early pencil-selling business and her mom confirmed her daughter’s constant entrepreneurial spirit.

“It was a lot of fun and making money made it even better,” Emma said. “My grandma said, ‘You should start a business with this,’ so we did.”

Emma D’s Bakery’s biggest client base is from her church — Wesley Free Methodist. She has served doughnuts to some well-known people throughout the community including Madison County court judges and AU President James Edwards and his staff.

The majority of the cooking is done by Emma — with most doughs mixed up Saturday night. The doughnuts are baked and fried beginning as early as 6 a.m. on Sundays. But Kim said she helps out when needed, especially where her daughter gets an especially large order.

One of Emma’s best loved parts of the process is coming up with tasty new flavors. Her favorite is pumpkin but others she’s crafted include those filled with Nutella, jelly,  S’mores, lemon ricotta, caramel and one that is lemon-glazed with blueberry and ricotta.

Kim joked that Emma often gets inquiries on her Facebook page — Emma D’s Bakery — asking where to find the doughnuts.

“I tell them, our house,” Kim said jokingly. “She’s a 12-year-old girl who makes doughnuts when she’s not working on school work.”

During the summer the business can play a bigger role, but school is the priority with Emma only baking on weekends.

“I really do enjoy it,” Emma said, enthusiastically. “I especially enjoy the money. And it has taught me a lot too — how to manage my money. I used to say, ‘Let’s go shopping,’ but now I’m better with my money.”

In the beginning Emma’s parents had her pay for supplies and had control over the money. Now she has opened a savings account and uses the money to pay for extracurricular expenses like school and church trips and an I-touch she recently purchased while Chris and Kim cover the costs of making the pastries.

“We have found that it is a good opportunity to teach her a lot of different things,” Kim said. “She has learned how much things cost, about being responsible and the importance of following through on things. So on Sunday mornings when she really doesn’t want to get up, I say, ‘You took the order, you have to do it.’ She’s learned a lot of basic life lessons.”

Emma said she’s glad she started the bakery — even on days that it is tough to get out of bad.

“I like being responsible and paying for things that I want,” she said. “It isn’t even a question anymore. I know if I want something that I need to save my doughnut money and use that.”

When asked if her 6-year-old daughter Lucy would follow in entrepreneurial Emma’s footsteps, Kim laughed.

“Lucy is a different child. She’s more likely to be performing on the corner,” Kim joked. “She enjoys having an audience.”