Student Entrepreneurs

Small businesses make up 99.7% of all companies. Many of these were started by individuals when they were kids. There are several students at Berks Christian School who have started their own business, and I have interviewed two of these entrepreneurs, Matthew Bercek and Sydney Barnett, who have successful products.

Matthew Bercek, a junior, has been hunting and processing deer with his dad from a very young age. I have had the opportunity to hunt with Matt and learn how they make their products Matt describes his small business as homemade smoked meats and processing. His business is perfect if you’re a hunter, but don’t want to process yourself.

But you don’t have to be a hunter to enjoy the great meat and snacks. He sells jerky, beef sticks, sweet bologna, ring bologna, breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, kielbasa, and will make anything else you can think of. Additionally, most of these products can come in different flavors. Matt believes his homemade, organic, and inexpensive products (smoked, not dehydrated like most jerky) are better than anyone else’s. Believe me, he’s right! I have tried dozens of different jerky, and never found one I liked until I tried Matt’s. There is no way I will ever eat any other jerky or snacks unless it’s from him. You must try it for yourself. All his products are priced right and sold by weight. If you’re interested, you can contact Matt by emailing him at or just speak with him in person.

Sydney Barnett, a freshman, raises goats to use their milk for her products. She sells her homemade soap and lip balm scented with lavender, vanilla, peppermint, lemon, and more. Sydney’s products are unique because they are handmade and cheap for such high quality. Most important to Sydney, she stresses buying local instead of from a big box store. Other products are cheaply made in a factory, but not hers.

Sydney let me review the peppermint vanilla scented soap. The soap is dense, making it last a long time, and it smelled just like mint. It lathers well with plenty of suds. The best part about the soap is that it was like a moisturizer, making my dry skin very soft. To purchase these fantastic products, you can email Sydney or request an order form with prices. Occasionally she will hold a bake sale, where her products are discounted. Sydney gratefully stated “I would like to thank everybody who purchased my product to help me start my business.”

It is very important that we help others whenever we can. Most of the everyday products we buy could alternatively be purchased cheaper from individuals who are trying to make a living, or from student entrepreneurs wanting to save for college and the future. Buy local!

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