Youth uses 4-H baking skills to start small bread business during COVID-19

By Laura Goulding

Brock Ruttan, Prince Edward 4-H’er, began the 4-H Bread Venture club in early 2020, his first 4-H club since graduating from 4-H’s Cloverbud program. In the Bread Venture club, Brock enjoyed spending time with his friends and learned how to make bread and pretzels.

In March the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and all in-person 4-H activities were suspended until further notice as a result of social distancing protocols put in place by the government. Unfortunately, Brock’s Bread Venture club was cancelled after only two meetings, but that didn’t stop him from building upon his new found baking skills.

Youth standing in kitchen beside baked goods he made.

Brock’s Aunt, Treena, helped him bake bread at home and from there Brock learned how to make cheese bread, cinnamon buns and garlic bread. “My favourite is cheese bread because cheese is my favourite food and my next favourite food is bread, so why not put it all together in one,” says Brock. 

“My family liked my baking so much that I was doing a lot of baking and using all the flour and yeast. I asked for money so I could buy more ingredients and keep making bread,” says Brock. In addition to building bread making skills, Brock also learned about the relationship between expenses, revenue and profit, critical elements in running a small business. 

“We are so proud of him and this is the reason we need to keep 4-H for young people. We may have the next successful chef in our midst,” says Lynn Ward, Prince Edward 4-H Association volunteer.

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