Mother and 12-y-o daughter bite into business
Launch Lea’s Sugar-Coated Treats
A new sweet spot is in Kingston, offering soft-serve ice cream, sundaes, smoothies, slushies and getting innovative with all kinds of confectioneries. And, a mother-daughter duo is behind it all.
Leah-Mae Lee, 12, and her mother, Vanacia Johnson-Lee, are on a high following the successful launch on social media and the official grand opening of Lea’s Sugar-Coated Treats on Saturday, November 20.
“Everyone deserves a break; sometimes that means treating yourself to something sweet, sugary and tasty. I would tell people to come here because we offer just that,” the 12-year-old entrepreneur told Food.
Both Leah-Mae and Vanacia admit to having sweet tooths, and that the business was inspired by their love of crafting treats that are unique and fun from artisanal flavours to one-of-a-kind desserts that make family and friends wonder about the taste “because you would never think to pair some items together and surely won’t find the sweet creations anywhere else”.
Leah-Mae shared that she was inspired by a popular game – Roblox.”In Roblox, (persons amongst my generation will probably know it), in the games, you see the candy canes, the lollipops and the ice creams, maybe the different flavours of ice creams inspired me a little bit with this business too,”she shared.
From inspiration came exploration as Vanacia said she and Leah-Mae’s father identified that their daughter expressed herself through innovation. “One of her strengths is design, and she voiced from very early that she wanted a business. So, my husband and I, in wanting her to be independent, decided to give her an opportunity to do so, and for her to have something of her own at a young age to learn how to deal with the challenges early,” she said.
She added, “It is true we both have sweet tooths, and I was on board from the mere mention of sweet treats – using her perspective and mine – to create Lea’s Sugar-Coated Treats. The presentation was her idea. From the menu to the mascots at the grand opening, it was all her.”
A couple of weeks before schools close for Christmas break, the mother and daughter are preparing to welcome the public through its doors at the 94M Old Hope Road location (inside the Texaco petrol station’s multipurpose complex) to try the menu of sweet treats that can be had for breakfast, lunch or dessert, such as waffles, funnel cakes, churros and cotton candy tacos and a long list of toppings.
“The vanilla and strawberry soft-serve ice cream, which has a subtle taste, not too sweet actually, and blue raspberry and strawberry slushies are big sellers and a lot of customers lean towards the waffles with the soft-serve ice cream as a topping. It’s a lot for us to do, and I realise we may need more help, but it will come together,” Vanacia said.
“We open [currently] from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturdays. We will open on the first and last Sunday of each month. The hope and dream is to expand out of our first brick and mortar location and establish ourselves in other parishes, but we want Leah to really sink her teeth into this venture and get a taste of what being an entrepreneur is like first, and if it’s what she wants, and if it works, we’ll see,” she continued.