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Teen doughnut king enjoys sweet taste of success

Helen Kempton and Linda Smith, August 12, 2021 6:30PM Mercury

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Sunny Beatson, 17, is about to open his second doughnut shop after turning an idea to beat lockdown boredom into a thriving business. Picture: Chris Kidd media_cameraSunny Beatson, 17, is about to open his second doughnut shop after turning an idea to beat lockdown boredom into a thriving business. Picture: Chris Kidd

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A teenage doughnut king who started cooking to beat lockdown boredom is expanding his delicious empire*.

Sunny Beatson, 17, started making doughnuts from the kitchen of his home in Burnie, Tasmania, during Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 and is now preparing to open his second store.

Despite having little interest in cooking, Sunny decided to make a few doughnuts for his five brothers to try.

He adapted recipes he found on YouTube and his brothers gave the doughnuts a big thumbs up, so he thought he’d try selling some.

“When I first started, I just posted it on Facebook,’’ Sunny said.

“I didn’t think much of it, I thought maybe I’d get one or two orders, I didn’t think I’d make any money out of it.

“But I got heaps of replies and it blew up pretty quickly … I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

Soon his creations were selling in local supermarkets and family members were helping deliver the doughnuts across northwest Tassie.

Sunny said he remembered being excited when he sold 30 doughnuts in one day – now he’s selling up to 700 a day from his shop, BeaDoughs Donuts, which he opened in Bernie’s City Square in January.

Breaking News Breaking News Sunny Beatson outside his Burnie doughnut store media_cameraSunny Beatson outside his Burnie doughnut store, BeaDoughs Donuts, which opened in January, 2021.

Sunny said the business, which now employs nine people, had “gone pretty crazy.”

It operates six days a week, with Sunny waking up at 3.30am and getting to the shop by 4am to start making doughnuts, ready for when the doors open at 9am.

He sells eight different flavours. The Nutella-filled creation is the most popular, while his own favourite is the simple vanilla glaze variety.

BeaDoughs media_cameraSunny Beatson with some of the delicious doughnut flavours he makes at his shop in Burnie, Tasmania. Picture: Chris Kidd

Sunny said he planned to open his second shop, in the Tasmania town of Launceston, in September.

The expansion* should see his doughnut production* double.

“I would look to expand into other places in Tasmania like Hobart if customers tell me that is what they want,” he said.

“I had no idea when I was Googling recipes and practising making them that this would happen. I was just looking for a side hustle* and to make some money to save up to buy a car.”

He now has that car and said he would party hard when he had stores around the world.

GLOSSARY

  • empire: a large business operation owned or controlled by one person or group
  • expansion: become bigger
  • production: the process of making something
  • side hustle: small job that is not the main thing someone does

EXTRA READING

These kids rock their kitchen

Kids, it’s time to start your own business

Angus’ sweet eye for business

QUICK QUIZ

  1. In which Tasmanian town did Sunny open his first doughnut shop?
  2. Where does he plan to open his second shop?
  3. What his shop called?
  4. Why did Sunny start making doughnuts?
  5. What is the most popular doughnut flavour that Sunny sells?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Make a business plan
Sunny’s story sure is inspiring! Do you think you could run your own business?

Write a mini business plan for a product or service that you think could be successful. In your plan, answer the following questions:

  • What would your business be named?
  • What is your product or service?
  • What makes your idea special or unique?
  • Who is your target market? (What type of people do you think will be most likely to buy your product or service?)
  • Where and/or how will you sell your product or service?
  • How would you promote your business?
  • How much would you sell your product or service for and how did you reach this price?
  • Why do you think this idea would be successful?

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Economics and Business

2. Extension
Design a logo for your proposed business.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Visual Arts

VCOP ACTIVITY
A lockdown idea
Sunny had a great idea to pass the time during lockdown. It has paid off, and he is now a successful business owner. But it’s not all easy going. Sunny has to get up at 3:30am to start work at 4am! Would you do that?

What’s your niche? A good business idea is usually successful if it is a solution to someone’s problem. Your niche, is something you are good at, that can fix someone’s pain point or problem. A painter will paint your house when you don’t want to, or can’t. A mechanic will fix your car. Your coach will teach you to how to develop your skills further.

Is there anything that you find easy, that others find difficult? Are you good on the computer or phone? What about a game or sport? What about craft or cooking?

Come up with a few skills or areas you excel in. Now think of some target audiences that might benefit from your help.

Create an advertisement for your skills (business idea) and pitch it to your target audience. Think of a price for your product or services.

Test out your ad on a classmate or family member to see what they think.

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