A YOUNG Cork teenager has managed to purchase his own food truck before he is even old enough to drive, as he juggles a thriving business with his Junior Certificate studies.
Cian Foley, who at the age of 15 is the proud owner of Cian’s Cakes, started selling cakes outside the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Glounthaune at the age of 12.
Fast-forward three years and Cian is finally seeing his hard work pay off.
With the help of his supportive parents Olivia and Darren, Cian has spent the last number of months converting a horsebox into a solid base for his business, selling tea, coffee, and baked goods.
The teenager’s tasty treats, coupled with Cian’s personality, attract customers in their droves.
Cian has vowed to work hard so that he can pay his parents back for investing in his dream. He starts his working mornings as early as 5am, baking his cookies and cakes from scratch.
“It’s a level up from the table,” Cian joked of the stall where he began selling cakes.
He described how the idea was born.
“I first got the idea to sell cakes while on holiday at my grandparents’ in Kerry,” he said. “I saw cakes being sold at a farmers’ market and I had ideas for something a little more decorative than what they were offering.
“I made €81 just from my first day selling cakes and was so excited about coming back the following week.
“However, my mum said it was going to be raining so we decided not to.
“When it turned out to be sunny I was so disappointed that we hadn’t set up the stall,” he said.
“That’s when we decided to sell them outside the church in Glounthaune.
“After Mass everyone would come out to buy a cake. I loved talking and interacting with people and especially loved baking the cakes.
“Everyone was super nice about me being there. I got great feedback and people liked seeing me there.”
Cian, who has two sisters, Amy, 18, and Rebecca, 17, has remained humble in spite of his success.
“I kept it a secret at school. It wasn’t like I didn’t want anyone to find out, I just didn’t want to be making a huge deal of it,” he said.
He added that it was his father Darren’s idea to invest in a food truck.
“I was really excited when we went to buy it because it had the hatch, which gave me a sense of what it would look like,” he said.
“It took around eight or nine months to get the work done. There was so much to get done because we had to get the floor galvanised, metal shelving, lighting, along with everything else that needed to get done.”
Cian’s friends have been keen to get in on the act.
“Most of my friends asked if they could come and work for me but that’s not possible at the moment because they are all underage,” he said.
Customers are always surprised to see Cian at the helm.
“I feel like most people are confused when they see me because they’re expecting someone older,” he said.
“When they see me inside they are just happy to have someone nice to talk to. Everyone is so sweet and very supportive.”
Cian is currently saving all the profits from his food truck for a very special reason.
“I’m looking forward to being able to pay my parents back because they have given me a start in life.”
Readers can follow Cian’s journey on Instagram at cianscakesandsweettreats.