Boonville Boy Kneading His Way to His Own Bakery
Meet Jonathan Kornmeyer. The 14-year-old Boonville boy is kneading is way to his own bakery.
Jonathan has spent most of his life in the kitchen. "My mom used to pretend she was doing cooking shows while I was in my high chair to keep me entertained while she made dinner. When I got older she’d put a big bowl of meatballs or cookies on the floor and let me help.
In June 2019, Jonathan found out the woman he loved to buy bread from at the local farmer's market had retired. "I was so sad but my mom said she’d teach me how to bake bread."
They started with sandwich bread and moved on to artisan bread. "I loved it and begged my mom to let me sell it at the farmers market. We got a home processor license and she let me borrow $115 to buy some ingredients bags."
A week later Jonathan made 16 loaves and sold out in less than an hour at the local farmer's market. Each week he went back with more and each week he sold out. "I was making 50-60 loaves, cookies, muffins and in February I started making fudge and Brazilian truffles. I’m not allowed to use melted chocolate to make candies but these use cocoa powder and are really creamy."
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Jonathan started doing porch pick ups and local delivery, lowering his prices to help his community. "I was making 80-90 loaves of bread every week from April to June. All summer I did 90-100 loaves, scones, cookies, muffins, granola, and my now well known cinnamon rolls. People love them."
All loaves Jonathan makes are done by hand. No mixer. No bread machine. "We have double convection ovens so that helps."
Mom helps too. She makes the labels, keeps track of orders and does all Jonathan's social media marketing. "She’s like my secretary," jokes Jonathan. "I try paying her but she won’t let me, so I surprise her with flowers and things. She also helps clean up since I'm kind of messy."
Jonathan's goal is to have his own bakery some day. "I’d do it right now if I could, but my parents think I should wait. I do like that I can be flexible so I have time to be with friends and do other things. I’m saving my money to buy equipment for a bakery."
Outside the kitchen Jonathan loves musical theater. "I love to sing Broadway show tunes so that why I’m Boonville’s Broadway Baker. I also attend a performing arts camp in Long Lake in the summer that I can now help pay for because it’s really expensive."
Jonathan also gives back to the community, donating a portion of his proceeds to several organizations including Toys for Tots and the KEYS Program. This year he even went grocery shopping and donated a carload of food to the CNY Veteran’s Outreach Center in Utica.
In addition to helping kids, Jonathan is also teaching them. In October he organized the first Boonville Kids Entrepreneurial Business Expo, with 30 very socially distanced kid vendors. Jonathan also plans to hold workshops for kids that want to start their own business.
Jonathan's parents, Lisa and Kevin Kornmeyer couldn't be more proud of everything he's accomplished already. "We are humbled, filled with pride, and thankful for all the support and encouraging words from our community and his customers from all over," says Lisa.
Customers come from Syracuse, Rochester, Lowville, and Utica just to buy Jonathan's bread. "It's been remarkable to watch the outpouring of support from people all over and people we don’t know. We are most proud of his work ethic, his business sense, and his communication skills. Jonathan has been homeschooled the past four years, allowing him the opportunity and flexibility to run his own business."
Before starting that business, Jonathan plans to get a world class education. "He wants to travel the world to take cooking and baking classes," Lisa says.
There is a downside to Jonathan's at home bakery. "Sometimes dad can’t sleep because of the smell of bread baking at midnight," jokes Lisa. "We don’t always feel like cooking dinners or the ovens are full. We have to wash a lot on dishes. And we don’t always have bread in the house because he sells it all."
You can check out Jonathan's tasty treats and even place an order at Boonville's Broadway Baker on Facebook. Baked goods can be picked up, delivered or even mailed. Or try the subscription box, a fun way to sample some of Jonathan's products when it’s tough to decide what to order. Every month you receive a different box of goodies that'll include a loaf of bread, plus some treats of Jonathan's choice.