12-yo entrepreneur with Down syndrome opens a cupcake shop with mom

The story of this young entrepreneur will definitely warm your heart. For someone who has dreams to chase after, lemons handed by life will never be an excuse to give up on your dreams. Combine a person’s dedication and a supportive environment, everything will truly be possible.

John Truel of Marshfield, Wisconsin is not your average 12-year old kid. First of all, John was born and diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Ever since he was a child, he had to take hours and hours of physical, occupational, and speech therapies. These therapies are taken together with John’s regular school hours. Keeping these in mind, it is safe to say that John is quite a responsible and hardworking student.

Patricia Truel, John’s caring and supportive mother, is just as hardworking and diligent as her special son. As a testament to the hardworking mother, she opened a baking business in their home branded as “Baked by Patricia” in Buffalo, New York in order to be able to take care of her son and at the same time support the family financially.

Patricia came out with this business as a result of her passion in baking. Since John has a jam-packed schedule, she frequented around town as she accompanied her son. Four weeks after starting her baked goods business, Patricia found herself selling up to 48 dozens of sweet cupcakes in a week.

The home-based business of Patricia and her family expanded into a full-blown cupcake shop with eight seats, a counter, a kitchen, and a bathroom all decorated in colors of pink, black, and white. This was made possible when the family re-located in central Wisconsin. Brad, John’s father was working when he found a great property to invest in. A small house and a 336 square foot store for Patricia’s cupcake business!

Cupcakes on 8th, Patricia’s cupcake store, opened on March 11. The cupcake store is managed by Patricia herself wearing a polka-dot dress while John manages the register with a polka-dot bow-tie. The mother and son tandem happily serves customer in the background of ’50’s music. Truly, Patricia’s cupcake store does not only offer delicious cupcake but a one-of-a-kind ambiance as well.

As per the hardworking mother, her and her son’s cupcake store will open a feature in which visitors and customers will be able to create their own desserts at a cupcake bar. With a multitude and variety of toppings to choose from, their make-your-own dessert section will surely excite their customers.

What makes Patricia’s sweet cupcakes store a cut above the rest is her son working for her man the register. During Mondays until Thursdays, after John’s school hours and therapy sessions are finished, our young entrepreneur works at his mom’s cupcake shop from 3 to 4 p.m. In an effort to teach John about the value of a quarter, Patricia put a special price offer every 3-4 p.m., mini cupcakes priced at 25 cents each!


Patricia saw how important it is for John to work in her cupcake store, this is her way of teaching her son about the importance of mathematics when applied in real life. This is also Patricia’s way of enhancing her son’s social and life skills.

“I thought, ‘This is perfect for John. He could have his own home one day, walk across the yard to the bakery, to his job.'”  The hardworking and supportive Patricia shared in an interview. According to the John’s mother, she is hoping to hire employees with special needs in the future. “I feel like I need to give back and support the community, because they support me.” True to her words, Patricia makes a monthly donation of one thousand and one hundred sweet cupcakes to local charity or events for kids with special needs.

The Cupcakes on 8th is open from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Sundays.

“It’s a good way for him to feel important,” Patricia shared in an interview. “I felt like, what better way for him to feel important than to be part owner?” John, the 12-year old kid with special needs, does not only work in the registrar, the young entrepreneur is also a co-owner of his mother’s cupcake business. Not every 12-year old kid can accomplish what John is able to do so and that’s what makes him even more amazing!

Watch the video below to see how a supportive, dedicated, and hardworking mother is able to support and prepare her 12-year old son who is a successful entrepreneur, who has special needs, be prepared to face and triumph over the challenges of life!

Video and Screen Grab Credit: HumanKind

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