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Mercado Español offers lesson in economics

Students sell treats as small business owners

Leer en Español, traducido por El Vocero Hispano

Godfrey-Lee — A senior at Lee High School, Mecada Davis has sold homemade cakes at the school’s Spanish Market for the last three years.

This event run by students with help from parents and families usually takes place twice a year, giving Mecada’s small business “Cada’s Sweets” the chance to share Oreo cakes and strawberry shortcake cups with her peers. 

“I used to bake for fun and people said I should sell them, so I did,” she said. 

Mecada said she likes experimenting with new flavors and ingredients, but sticks to making cakes as cookies are not her best bake.

Lee’s community room quickly filled with the scent of tacos, tamales, and other sweet treats as students, including Mecada, became small business operators for the day.  Staff members also stopped by on their lunch breaks to sample rice and beans, horchata and churro cheesecake cups for dessert. 

‘Students run their own businesses, set prices, manage supplies and it’s a big learning experience.’

— Spanish teacher Katherine Merriott 

Spanish teacher and Spanish Club advisor Katherine Merriott said funds raised at the market go toward scholarships and supporting participating organizations – Spanish Club, prom committee, Anime Club, National Honor Society and yearbook. 

It was also a lesson in real-world economics. 

“Students run their own businesses, set prices, manage supplies and it’s a big learning experience,” Merriott said. “The Spanish Market is a celebration of community and culture.” 

There were  no rules preventing multiple groups from selling the same product, so Merriott said that helped create friendly competition.

“If something is selling well, they may decide to increase the price or lower it if they’re not selling,” she said.

One group faced no competitors because they chose to sell something no one else was selling: chamoy candy gummy rings. Students lined up to get a cup of them, made fresh that morning by Annette and her business partners, seniors Dedi Tyler and Vanely Bastardon.

“Chamoy candy is very popular,” said senior Annette Vazquez  about the sweet and spicy snack. “We had to calculate how much supplies we needed and how to price it.”

Read more from Godfrey Lee: 
New library hailed as a ‘repository of knowledge’
Fiesta of the Senses at Spanish Market Day

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter covering Byron Center, Caledonia, Godfrey-Lee, Kenowa Hills and Thornapple Kellogg. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry, before finding her calling in education reporting and landing at SNN. Alexis is also the author of a poetry chapbook, “Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed.”


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