HCC students go to market

November 21, 2013

A customer tries on scarves at the HCC Student Market. Kayla Langevin and Alyssa Delude of A's of K-ake's Baked Goods display their home baked goodies at the Student Market.

The pecan pies sold out early. Later, they sold out of everything.

For a business owner trying to establish a market niche before the winter holidays, that's a good sign.

"We were up baking til the wee hours of the morning so everything would be fresh," said Alyssa Delude, co-owner with Kayla Langevin of A's of K-ake's Baked Goods.

Langevin and Delude were two of the 16 HCC students participating Wednesday in the first Student Market held at Holyoke Community College. All of the students are either members of the Entepreneurs Club or taking an Entrepreneurship class here at HCC.

The budding businessmen and businesswomen sold T-shirts, jewelry, hair accessories, fuzzy socks, scarves and other items, such as microwavable heating pads. 

 "Some are crafters, some are bakers, and some of them aren't quite sure they want to own their own businesses," said Ellen Majka, club advisor and HCC professor of Business. "They're all at different stages and most are in their infancy stage, but that's all right."

For those students who didn't already have a business or their own product to sell, Majka had arranged a bus trip down to New York City earlier this month. Students visited the Wholesale District in Manhattan and purchased trendy items to bring back and sell on campus.

Students had to think about potential markets, conduct cost analyses on their products, and invest their own money in hopes of turning a profit.

"It's a huge lesson in various concepts of running a business," Majka said. "They were very excited."

Joe Impoco and his business partner Joe Pelletier sold cannolis. They bought the empty shells and cream filling and stuffed them themselves. They started the day with an inventory of 96 cannoli and by noon - halfway through the market - had sold 36 at $2 apiece (or five for $8), enough to break even on their investment.

How did they stumble upon the idea of selling cannolis?

"Everybody loves cannolis," Impoco said. 

Since students invested their own money, they got to keep the profits, with 10 percent of sales being donated to the Westfield Animal Shelter.   

The market was such a success, Majka said, the students have already asked if they can do it again in the spring.

Photos: (Left) A customer tries on scarves at the HCC Student Market. Kayla Langevin and Alyssa Delude of A's of K-ake's Baked Goods display their home baked goodies at the Student Market.

 
 

Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000