Students can smell the aroma of freshly baked goods every Tuesday morning as they walk down Fort Baker Drive on their way to school. Freshman Sylvana Northrop and her sister, Kennedy MS 7th grader Nerea Northrop, can be spotted standing behind a folding table with plates of muffins and other breakfast items, along with pitchers filled with a variety of different drinks. The sign that reads “The Fort Bakery” sits across the street in plain sight of crossing traffic and students walking to school.
The sisters wake up at 6 a.m. every Tuesday morning to bake the ingredients that they prepared the previous night for their bake stand. They mainly sell muffins, varying in flavor, from orange cranberry to zucchini. They aim to provide a healthy, low-sugar breakfast to students of the surrounding schools.
“I think it’s also important that everyone [has] a healthy way to start their day, because a lot of people are eating sugary cereals every morning,” Sylvana said. “If they know that something as good as this is waiting for them, then they’ll be motivated to come buy stuff here instead of filling themselves with other stuff.”
The inspiration behind The Fort Bakery business stems from their mothers hope that her children could earn money by the time they were 14. The sisters have an interest in baking and Sylvana has a free period while Nerea doesn’t have a zero period, Tuesday mornings the the most convenient time to run their business.”
“It’s a perfect time when everybody from the schools are coming in, and we noticed that because we live right here,” Sylvana said. “We noticed how easy it would be to get lots of customers and be able to give them something to eat every morning.”
The sisters have been running the bake stand since Sept. 12 of this year. They explained that although they only received one customer their first day, business has been increasing steadily since then.
“[My favorite part is] when we have a customer that keeps coming by, so it’s like [part of] their routine,” Nerea said.
Sylvana added that although running the stand requires staying up late Monday night in order to prepare the ingredients, it is a rewarding process.
“My favorite part is probably when you sell something to somebody, and they try it, and they say ‘Wow, this is really good,’” Sylvana said.
The Fort Bakery continues to thrive, and Sylvana and Nerea hope business continues to increase. Each week, they can be found standing behind their table, a platter of muffins in front of them and smiles wide across their faces.
“I think it’s really exciting to be able to own our own business at such a young age,” Sylvana said. “And I think it’s really fun every morning to be able to smell how good the thing is that we’re making.”