SAN ANTONIO — The Tejwani house is fragrant with the smell of baked goods. Outside their front door is a huge banner stretching up advertising Akki’s Cupcakery. In the kitchen, Akeila Tejwani president and CEO of her own business at 15.
“So, I had this passion for baking,” Akeila said. “I started when I was four-years-old.”
Akeila said she used to watch baking shows with her mother, Pooja. The teen got serious about her baking last October. She approached her parents about opening an organic bakery.
“I said yes. But if you really want to run a business, you have to figure out if it’s sellable,” Ajay Tejwani said. “It looks good on paper, but show me the money.”
His daughter started selling cupcakes at school. The students at Brandeis High School, apparently, liked her product because she sold out. But that wasn’t enough to convince her entrepreneurial father.
“He was like, 'show me more,'” she said.
According to the Brandeis sophomore, she sold cupcakes for a week. The more she brought the more she sold. Her father started working with his daughter on a business plan, website and marketing.
He agreed to invest seed money in a business she’d be responsible for. In December, Akki’s Cupcakery was born.
“Actually, she’s a girl full of surprises to me,” he said.
Akelia is in the top 5 percent of her class. She is also a black belt in Taekwondo who is on her school’s debate team. The teen also loves to read and watch baking videos on YouTube.
Her family including her mother, grandmother and sister Nikita make-up her staff. She, of course, uses her profit to take care of operational costs. The teenage business owner also donates 50 percent of her proceeds to five children’s charities in San Antonio.
“I’ve always wanted to work with kids somehow,” she said. “So, when I grow up, I want to work in a non-profit or start my own non-profit.”
The Ferrari Kids, SJRC (formerly known as the St. Jude’s Ranch for Children) Texas, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), CAMP (Children’s Association for Maximum Potential) and Heartgift San Antonio are set to benefit from her profits.
Akki’s Cupcakery offers goods in a variety of flavors. The options are organic, vegan and gluten-free.
Her business model even includes delivery through Grub Hub and Door Dash. The baked goods are made at the time of order. She said most orders take about two hours.
Her experiences since opening in December haven’t been all cookies and crème. She’s learned the harsh reality of how flaky customers can be. But the Tejwanis live in a household governed by mantras. One of those is encouraged each night by the sisters to brush their teeth for bed.
“I’m confident. I believe in myself and I can do anything I put my mind to,” Ajay said.
He is teaching his daughters time, treasure and talent are what they have to offer the world.
“We have these family core values of HUGPC: Health and happiness, upright, gratitude, pay forward and continuous learning,” Akeila said.
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