SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- While many high schoolers have embraced the pandemic as a time to sleep in and play video games, one Scotch Plains teenager is using the time to flex his entrepreneurial muscles.
Ben Pritzker, 16, a high school junior, created a business to address the needs of families during COVID 19.
Living on the Tiki Love Farm on Raritan Road has taught him about the processes of hatching chicks and led him to start doing it at home with fertilized eggs outsourced from another small company.
“Our first animals were chickens, this introduced me to the world of raising chickens. We always started with chicks and last year got some fertilized eggs to start the process,” said Pritzker. “Butterflies were a separate interest I had, but it was not from the farm.”
Learning about farm animals is what piqued his interest into the process of hatching chicks.
“My brother went to boarding school with a farm on it, and he introduced me to the world of farm animals. This led me into wanting my own. When we moved here, our first instinct was to get chickens, which led me to begin growing and hatching them,” says Pritzker.
Last March, when the COVID lockdown hit, he really wanted to educate and entertain kids during the pandemic. Like many high school students, he was bored and wanted something to do.
"We have a great resource in owning the farm and thought others needed to experience it. It’s our way to give others a slice of farm life that we can share with them,” Pritzker says.
The teenager says that while the popularity of each different kit offered is variable, both are equally popular year-round.
Pritzker says what makes his business different from others who offer similar products and services is that he is very environmentally conscious and that by using his company, customers can support a local small business instead of getting the same things from a larger corporation.
“I think the two biggest things are that I am environmentally conscious and a small business. I get materials from other small companies who use paper packaging instead of plastic," he said.
“I sat down with my parents and brainstormed what families’ needs and wants were,” said Pritzker. “We came up with a hands-on sustainability project that they may not experience in traditional schools. I live on a farm, so working with animals and plants and building things is second nature to me.”
Thus, Tiki Love Sustainability Projects was born, offering:
- Butterfly hatching kits;
- Chicken hatching kits;
The community response has been strong.
“I’ve had over 195 customers,” Pritzker says. “I was hired by a nursing home to build a vegetable garden in my 2020 season. So far this year, I’ve been hired by a few schools for chick hatching. Most of my customers, though, are families who want their children to have the experience of hatching chicks."
Ben takes orders on his website www.tikiloveprojects.com.
Tiki Love Projects offers a discount code "facebook5" to customers that can be used for online purchases.
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