8-year-old Fresno boy starts baking business to help family

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
8-year-old Fresno boy starts baking business to help family
Jalen Bailey makes cookies by the dozens and banana nut by the loaf alongside his best friend - his mom.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local bakeries in Fresno have a new business to compete with for customers, but they might not mind.

In the summertime, you'll find most kids in the pool but not Jalen Bailey.

He's working on a recipe for success.

"Just pop it right in there," Jalen said while baking.

He makes cookies by the dozens and banana nut by the loaf, and this baker is making dough at just 8 years old.

"My mom is the one who inspired me to do the business," he said.

Jalen's Bakery is a full-service confectionary.

"He's getting a lot of requests," Jalen's mom Sharhonda said. "He did his first event."

Sharhonda is his assistant but Jalen said his mom is also his best friend.

Jalen's drive isn't a complete surprise to her. It runs in the family.

"I've had side businesses since I was 18 so I felt that it was something he needed to learn," Sharhonda said. "If he wanted to be an entrepreneur when he grows up or it's something he wanted to do on the side.

Jalen runs the bakery out of their tiny rental home, the small home is part of the reason he's baking in the first place.

"I wanted to save up a lot of money to get a house, he said. "I just want one that me and my mom can be happy in."

For his single mom, that's a tough answer to hear.

"It was a little overwhelming because it was something that I couldn't do for him," Sharhonda said.

But if you need something enough, you're sure to rise to the top.

Jalen went to his first business mixer and networked with local professionals. One man even offered to donate a used oven so he can pump out more cookies.

"I said I wanted to be a millionaire," Jalen said. "I thought that wasn't possible but now I think it is."

Now Jalen's ready to take his business to the next level, one peanut butter cookie at a time.

"Plan big dreams ahead of you," Jalen said.

For more information on Jalen's Bakery, click here.