Teenager Madi Smyser is on a mission to sell $100,000 worth of baked goods by August, all while maintaining good grades.
By Kat Barclay, Photos courtesy of Madi’s Munchies
Madi Smyser is a precocious 17-year-old entrepreneur. She is well-spoken, hard-working, sweet and altruistic. She sings in the varsity choir at Vandegrift High School, where she is a junior and a member of the National Honor Society. Outside of school, Smyser is involved with Bible study at her church and volunteers weekly at the Bee Cave Public Library.
The rest of her free time is devoted to running her business, Madi’s Munchies, a home-based bakery that delivers and ships homemade cookies, granola bars and pumpkin bread in Austin and throughout the country.
Smyser has big goals for herself and her business: graduate high school and attend college at Baylor University, and earn $100,000 from the sale of her baked goods by August. That’s a goal she developed after Tom Ferry, a successful real- estate coach, challenged her to a bet at his Success Summit conference last August. If Smyser could earn $100,000 in sales through her small business by this year’s Success Summit, Ferry said he would give her $5,000. The only stipulation was she had to maintain her high grade-point average in school.
“That’s something that is really important to me,” Smyser says of her grades.
Madi’s Munchies originally came about in early 2017, when Smyser began making homemade granola bars for her school lunches.
“I’m kind of a picky eater and I just had gotten bored of the same ones from the store,” Smyser says. “So, I just kind of started doing my own research in what I would want in a granola bar and started pulling from different ideas and grabbing different things to make them.”
Much to her surprise, Smyser’s friends and family enjoyed the homemade bars, so much so that her dad suggested selling them in the neighborhood to earn money for a car.
“I thought, ‘OK, no one is going to buy them, but I’ll try it,’ ” Smyser says.
The idea turned out to be a success, and word quickly spread throughout the neighborhood, sparking a new idea to sell cookies rather than granola bars. Friday and Saturday nights, she began baking and delivering warm homemade cookies created from her grandmother’s recipe.
Fast-forward to today, and Smyser’s neighborhood cookie business has grown from a home kitchen and delivery service for nearby neighbors to one that has enabled her to rent a commercial-kitchen space and ship her goodies nationwide.
Currently, Madi’s Munchies items are sold at all four Dan’s Hamburger locations in Central Texas, as well as at various Vandegrift High School sporting events and other events Smyser sets up.
The business also has a Donate a Dozen program that partners with Community First, an organization that provides affordable housing for the disabled and chronically homeless in Central Texas. When a customer orders a dozen baked goods for the program, Smyser serves up the treats to residents on Thursday evenings.
“We came up with the program while we were at the conference. Obviously, all these real-estate agents were there and saw the bet happen and wanted to help me out,” Smyser says. “But since I didn’t have the ability to get them all cookies at that point, we came up with the Donate a Dozen program, where people could order a dozen cookies…that we would bring to Community First.”
So far, Smyser has held up her half of the bet by maintaining her high GPA. She recently earned second place in the Baylor University Youth Entrepreneur Awards, adding another achievement to her list of accomplishments.
As far as baked-goods sales go, she says she still has some challenges ahead in order to reach her $100,000 goal by August. But Smyser is dedicated to making it happen.
For more information about Madi’s Munchies, visit madismunchies.com.