Let’s get one thing out of the way, the reporter of this story did a thorough job on this story.
He asked the subject of the story a lot of questions. He asked the parents of said subject questions about having a 17-year-old daughter running her own business. And he, of course, checked out the products that the 17-year-old sells to the public.
The fact that the 17-year-old owns a bakery named “Sweets by Keke” and the “menu” included monster cookies and a Butterfinger mini cheesecake had nothing to do with his due diligence. He was just doing his job … for the good of the public.
If you’re buying all that, we’ve got some beautiful Florida swampland for you, but in all seriousness, this is the story of a young woman who began baking with her grandmothers and a great-grandmother years ago, found her niche, received great support from her family and opened a new business earlier this year shortly after graduating early from New Hampton High School.
This is the tale of Keke, a girl named Kenzie Bouillon.
COOKING, BAKING, heck, creating are in Bouillon’s DNA.
When she was a young girl, she loved baking with her Grandma Eckenrod, Grandma Bouillon and Great-Grandma Eckenrod. Her mother, Jenny, was a nurse who loved to “craft” and refurnish furniture. Her father, Randy, had a flair for cooking. Her older sister, Chelsie, makes her own soap. Even her little brother, Carver, has a creative side, making what she calls “the absolutely best caramels you’ll ever have.”
When Jenny would hold a craft sale, Kenzie and Carver would hold a bake and caramel sale, and they’d sell out before mom did.
The dream of owning her own bakery began then, but it really took shape when the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to Iowa a year ago. Like every other student in Iowa, she went to school remotely.
And by this fall, she realized that she could graduate in January and open her home-based bakery.
“The more and more we thought about it, the more and more we thought let’s try it,” she said, “and obviously, without my parents, this would have never happened. I can’t thank them enough, I can’t thank my teachers that, I don’t know quite how to say it, told me, encouraged me, to make my dream come true.”