Student Entrepreneurs Launch 'Gourmet Holery,' Hope to Partner with Copper Grill

by Mark Carter  on Thursday, Mar. 20, 2014 9:22 am  

A sample of the gourmet doughnut holes produced by Sydney Brazil and Jase Burton of The Hole Thing.

"We want this to be like a gourmet item, but we don't want to charge more than a box of Girl Scout cookies," she said. "We want to show that it's possible for high-school students to do this."

Youth entrepreneurship indeed has ridden a wave of momentum in Arkansas lately, and the Noble Impact program, in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service, has been a big part of that.

Noble Impact co-founder Chad Williamson took a team of eStem students to Startup Weekend Northwest Arkansas in Fayetteville last fall, where the team created a started called PassionPull and won prizes including a 3-D printer. Next month, Noble Impact will bring the first-ever High School Startup Weekend to Little Rock.

Brazil and Burton have taken the concept for The Hole Thing from the car, where Brazil and her mom hatched the idea, to the classroom and now to the brink of the real-world marketplace. 

"Anyone can get fired up about their own ideas," Williamson said. "However, Sydney and Jase have put action behind their ideas and now have something to show for it. They are building something together, which is a great avenue for education."

Ringgold was sold as much on the students themselves as she was on the gourmet holes. She said she had to keep reminding herself that these were sophomores in high school.

"Sydney and Jase are exceptional young people," she said. "They are forward thinking, enthusiastic and well grounded. Plus, there are so energized, not just by the concept of their endeavor but in all the components that will be required to make a project like this take off. They have already developed an initial marketing strategy including a logo, website and business cards. And they have a developed social media approach that really seems to be working for them. They instantly connect with people who have interest in their product and progress."

Brazil and Burton hope their gourmet treats connect as well. 



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