9-year-old cooks up a small business

Madison Crawford's treats indulge her love of baking, hanging out with dogs

Madison Crawford stands at her table during the HRM Moms Fall Craft Market on Sunday
Madison Crawford stands at her table during the HRM Moms Fall Craft Market on Sunday.   Jessica Caparini

Madison Crawford is only nine years old, but she’s already a small business operator.

In March, the Eastern Passage resident started 2 Paws Up with help from her mom, Kelly Crawford. Together they sell homemade, all-natural dog treats that come in all shapes and flavours, from multi-layered cakes to peanut butter pumpkin dog bones. All are taste-tested by their golden retriever, Cooper.

“It’s fun and we get to see dogs,” she says. “Like at the doggy expo, I got to see lots of dogs.”

Madison is in Grade 5 at Seaside Elementary in Eastern Passage. She started baking the treats when she got Cooper for Christmas last year. Soon after, she asked her family if she could start a business.

“She loves baking, she loves dogs,” her mother says. “It was the perfect way for a little girl to make money.”

On Sunday, Madison sat behind a table at the HRM Artisan Moms Fall Craft Market at Cole Harbour Place, eating timbits and making sales. Her job is to interact with customers and to develop and cook the products. Most of her profits go into her personal account, but 20 per cent are set aside as savings.

“I just think it’s teaching her amazing life lessons for the future,” Crawford said, tearing up. “I’m super-proud. I’m a bit of a sap, but it’s setting her up for life.”


Madison and her mother, Kelly Crawford, embrace at the craft market.   Jessica Caparini

Madison says the next step will be “traveling to give dogs treats.”

She and her mother have just put the last coats of pink and silver paint on an old camper. They plan to drive it from park to park next summer, as a sort of food truck for dogs.

Although going to crafts markets provides helpful exposure, buying tables at them can be pricey for new businesses like 2 Paws Up.

“I hate spending $50 for a table,” said Crawford, given the small scale of their business.

Next year Madison plans to operate mainly out of the trailer, but will still pick a few markets to attend. She and her mom’s favourites are the ones specifically for dog products because Cooper can join in on the fun, too.

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