They say it’s never too late to start chasing your dreams, but some could say that Hannah Buconjic took that advice and did quite the opposite. The young Saultite started her very own business at the ripe age of five.
Her business is a treat stand called Hannah’s Summer Treats, with 15 per cent of the profits going to ARCH Hospice.
“It’s my first business,” said the now seven-year-old of Hannah’s Summer Treats. “I sell treats like ice cream sandwiches, freezies, creamsicles and lemonade.”
“Two years ago when Hannah was five, we started giving her an allowance and we wanted to teach her a little bit about money,” said Nevin Buconjic, Hannah’s father.
“We related it to the real world and she learned that she could buy toys with money, which made her more interested in earning. We thought as a family that we’d start a lemonade stand, and from there Hannah had the idea to expand it and to add ice cream products and other things. So Hannah took our idea and moulded it into her own, more exciting treat stand," he said.
When it came to the idea of donating some of the profits to ARCH, Buconjic said that they wanted to teach Hannah the importance of giving back, and how that is part of having a business.
Because of COVID-19, Hannah’s Summer Treats wasn’t able to operate last year, but the business has restarted about a month ago.
Every few weeks, Hannah will operate her pop-up stand at the end of her driveway on Queen Street East. Her last pop-up stand day was on Aug. 5, and it was her most successful business day to date, making $170 in revenue. Before the table was even set up, a car full of people stopped and ordered 10 ice creams.
“My favourite part is pouring the lemonade,” said the soon-to-be Grade 3 student at Grandview Public School.
“She also enjoys holding up the sign and attracting customers,” said Hannah’s mother, Kristy. “It started with mostly friends and family and neighbours, but now it’s grown.”
Hannah really enjoys having her own business, she says, and it’s safe to say that she has her fair share of ambitions for the future.
“I want to be a lot of things when I grow up. I want to be an inventor, I want to be a hairdresser, and I want to be a leader,” she said.
“I think it’s important for kids to follow their dreams despite their age because there are so many lessons kids can learn with basically zero risk. You can start a business for almost nothing, and you’re going to learn about dealing with customers, promoting the business, responsibility, resourcefulness and more,” said Nevin Buconjic.
“We’re very proud of her. She’s accomplished a lot,” he said.
Earlier this month, Hannah was featured live as a guest on Toronto Breakfast Television along with the president of Shopify, Harley Finklestein, as well as in an article in the Toronto Star about young entrepreneurs starting businesses in the midst of COVID-19.
On top of managing Hannah’s Summer Treats, she also has her own YouTube channel called The Hannah News Network or HNN for short, where she makes videos featuring news for kids.
Hannah’s next pop-up stand will be held on the weekend of Aug. 21, weather permitting. Those interested can follow her business' Hannah’s Summer Treats Facebook page.