14-year-old boy successfully runs a chili food truck in the Las Vegas Valley
What were you doing at 14?
La’rell Wysinger started a food business in her grandmother’s driveway when she was 12 years old. Over the past two years during the pandemic, high school driveway snacks have become a popular trailer for chili cupcakes.
He is a translator, a big brother and a young entrepreneur. Wysinger, now 14, owns and operates the Chily Barkers food trailer. It’s a nonstop hot spot for chili cupcakes: cornbread cupcakes topped with homemade chili, sour cream, cheese, and green onions. It’s a family business, but the freshman from Western High School is the boss.
“That’s exactly what I prayed for; You know? My mom and I are passionate about prayer, protest, and positive speaking. Every time we talk, we say we’re going out. We’re going to get it,” Wysinger said.
Tatiana Easley, his mother, said his allowance wasn’t enough, so he wanted to pursue his own thing.
“I tell him, I’m very proud of him every day because I think at 14 I was chasing after boys and trying to do something other than a business… I’m just very proud of him,” she said.
That’s why Easley immediately jumped in for the ride. Well, she was driving, because Wysinger isn’t old enough to get his license yet. At just 12 years old, he began to develop the concept of cornbread. When mom and son were happy with the flavor, they started selling his after-school snacks in his grandma’s driveway in California, sending yummy messages on social media.
“A person blew it up at home. And then everyone stopped. And we blocked the whole street with a line full of cars,” Easley said.
When the family moved to Las Vegas, they invested in a trailer and converted it themselves. It’s a busy life running a business as a teenager, but Wysinger’s parents insist he only works weekends and stays on the AB honor roll at school. school.
“Honestly, we made sure not to overload him because at first he wanted to do Monday to Sunday. And I was like, ‘You need to take a break!’ So we made sure the school was first,” Easley said.
It was a big theme for Wysinger’s “Career Day” speech at the 100 Academy of Excellence in North Las Vegas. Her principal, Dr. Thursenia DeHart-Porter, asked the young business owner to speak at her engineering and technology school, hoping to inspire kids to dream big.
“You know, they’ve been very vocal about it. “You know, Dr. Porter, he’s one of us. We can do it. Look what he did. And then he kept saying it wasn’t an easy road, but he stayed the course. And he told them it was a lot of work and to be focused. Now I have many of our students running around. They want to be entrepreneurs now. They feel it. They know it’s something they can do because they’ve seen it…And we so appreciated it coming,” DeHart-Porter said.
Wysinger admits he was a little apprehensive giving a business speech to kids in kindergarten through eighth grade, some in the audience just a year younger than him, but he also understands the seriousness of his unique position.
“Very important because there are a lot of images… [of] Black men especially black people, young men, like us being rowdy or ghetto or uneducated. I just think I am who I am today and people really see me…especially the younger ones. Being a role model is so important to me,” he said. “I believe it gives them hope because every time you see someone doing something bigger than you could even imagine them doing…like me being a black man and just seeing myself young… so those two categories over there already give me a head start. And it’s just amazing. It gives them hope and just tries to reach further so that I can encourage younger generations like this to not just be an entrepreneur, but to achieve whatever dream you have. Be an athlete, artist, singer, dancer. Just chase the dream you have.
He says he is looking forward to his future in the food business. The professional teen cook continues to learn new cooking techniques as part of his high school culinary program, and he already has gargantuan expansion goals.
“He said that between five and 10 years old, he wanted to do a franchise and he wanted to grow. It’s not just the food truck. I was like, a franchise? I was like, it’s is a lot, but he sees it, so I’m going to make sure it’s like the trailer,” Easley said.
“My mom first and foremost… she is my manager, my mom and my 100% helper. So my motivation comes from my family. And I think if you don’t have the motivation or the right people behind you… support… you won’t have the sense… a lot of people need that push of someone else telling them to get out of their comfort zone and go. A lot of people don’t have that,” he said.
You can find the food trailer schedule and locations by following Wysinger’s Instagram: @chilybarkers.
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La’rell The Owner (@chilybarkers) • Instagram photos and videos