A CORK teen is building himself a nice little nest egg from a thriving business he started at the age of just ten.
Adam’s Free Range Eggs, the brainchild of 16-year-old Adam Dunne, is becoming so popular he has employed an extra staff member to keep the business ticking over - his mum Helen.
The mother-of-three is currently taking care of deliveries while Adam is at school.
“Of course I'm not old enough to drive yet,” joked the Carrignavar boy, "but I hope to start learning next year. I enjoy every aspect of Adam's eggs, from the business side to dealing with people, and it's something I'd really like to keep going.”
Adam, who started the venture as a ten-year-old after receiving a number of hens for Christmas, confessed that being a child entrepreneur wasn't all plain sailing.
“I got a lot of slagging from the other kids in school, but it never annoyed me to the point where I wanted to give up. When I was able to earn enough money to buy a quad bike I started to see the benefits. It taught me that money is hard earned. The quad was used for working around the farm but I also had a lot of fun with it too. I think, to be fair, the other kids were impressed too.”
While Adam's eggs are now in huge demand, both in homes and cafes, the Glanmire Community College student enjoys looking after his long-time customers.
“My fourth class teacher, Mr Power, was buying eggs from me when I started off and remains a loyal customer. We have ten teachers at my school who are regular clients.”
In recent years, Adam had to invest in a separate phone for business queries due to the high volume of calls.
“My mother has always encouraged me to speak up for myself and I think that's what gave me the confidence to start a business so young. A lot of my friends at school have just finished their transition year work experience. Some of them have got part-time jobs out of it. It's only now they're starting to find out what work is really like, so I'm lucky to have the experience.”
He spoke of how the business has evolved.
“We stopped breeding white hens. Although their eggs were lower in cholesterol, they really weren't popular so we just distribute the brown ones now.”
Egg boxes come with the Adam's Eggs logo and branding, which he achieved with the help of a graphic designer.
“I'm not sure exactly what I'd like to do after school yet but I love being in business so it will definitely be something along those lines.”
Helen emphasised how proud she is of her son.
“It's not every mother that can say their 16-year-old son is their boss,” she laughed. “I'm lucky that he's easy-going and not too hard on me.”
She described the difficulties Adam faced as a teenager in business.
“When he was in first year a call came through during class from someone looking to buy eggs. Luckily, Adam is usually able to charm himself out of these situations. That was when he decided to get the separate business phone.”
While Helen takes care of deliveries, Adam has a central role in the business.
“He looks after all the sales and adds his own little touches too, such as sending out texts to customers each night reminding them of delivery times. Adam is a real character and this lends itself to dealing with people in a business context.”