Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chocolatier at Fifteen!

The winner of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) Youth Entrepreneur Award for 2008 is Peter Crabtree, 18, from Kingston, WA (population 1,611). Peter started CBC Chocolates when he was only 15 after taking a culinary arts class as a freshman in high school. His company specializes in truffles, which are available in five flavors: Kahlua, Amaretto, Irish Cream, Vanilla and Raspberry.

Crabtree, who grew up on his family’s ranch in Kingston, first started his business in borrowed kitchens in the area until he had accumulated $10,000 to buy his own utensils. Those funds came from showing registered black angus cows because, as he said, “I never got an allowance. Any money I wanted I had to work for.”

He recently introduced a Brew and Wine Series of chocolates (I’m not sure how he does this at this age?) and has several patents pending on new products he intends to introduce. One of those patents is for a chocolate melting machine that he designed with his brother, a West Point engineering graduate.

This fall Peter is headed to Seattle University, not intending to take on any student debt. Care to guess what he is studying? Don’t you just love these Millennial Entrepreneur stories that I’m collecting? What are you doing to encourage entrepreneurs in your hometown? Get on the bandwagon, now!


Local Reader said...

Hi Jack!

I love reading your blog.

Do you think going to college is the best plan for this 15 year old? The WSJ proposed a different system with the recent Op Ed Article, For Most People, College Is A Waste of Time

Is there a entrepreneur boot camp with a reliable testing certification?

BoomtownUSA said...

Thanks for reading my blog and your comment. You raise an interesting question and one that I could argue both sides of, which I’m going to try to do.

If you look at many of the very successful local entrepreneurs, they never went to college. The set up their businesses in their late teens and early twenties and have been successful ever since. However, in talking with several of them, they generally wish that they had gotten their own college experience and each has made an effort to make sure that their own children go onto college.

On the other hand, I think that college can be a very broadening experience that can serve you well in the long term. It allows you to experience a wide range of subjects and people, experiences that hopefully will be beneficial for a lifetime.

I don’t know of any boot camp in entrepreneurism that is talked about in the WSJ article, or of a certification program in entrepreneurism. If you wish, I’d be happy to sit down with you to discuss your long term career options. Give me a call at 217-342-4443 or email me at