In pictures posted to his popular Instagram page, which boasts over 33,000 followers, 10-year-old Cory Nieves looks every bit the dapper entrepreneur.
In one shot, he’s poring over the morning paper while posed under a tree, briefcase in hand and blazer collar popped. In another, he’s seated in a leather armchair, sporting his signature horn-rimmed glasses, gaze buried in a Donald Trump self-help tome. “My mom picks pages I can read,” according to the caption.
But for Nieves, entrepreneurship is more than just a fancy pose. The 10-year-old has a burgeoning baking business to back up the snazzy duds. Nieves, after all, is the CEO and founder of Mr. Cory’s Cookies -- an all-natural bakery based out of Englewood, New Jersey.
Five years ago, freezing and tired at the bus stop, Nieves remembers whining to his mother, Lisa Howard, “We have to get a car!” They decided to sell hot cocoa in order to set aside some funds. And soon after, they added fresh-baked cookies into the mix, Nieves recounted during a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show -- where the hostess presented him with $10,000 and a new car.
Nieves and his mother have been shrewd enough to leapfrog the regulatory hurdles that have hindered other youngsters with entrepreneurial aspirations -- including 11-year-old Chloe Stirling, whose cupcake company was shuttered by a local health department for lacking permits and licensing.
"We incorporated the business into an LLC corporation, 'cause we couldn't use our regular kitchen unless this whole house is commercial," Nieves told CBS This Morning. Howard, who serves as COO and is legally required to do the baking, makes use of a separate commercial kitchen as well.
Every Saturday, mother and son fill a wagon with their wares and make the rounds, selling $1 cookies at local boutiques, barbershops and car dealerships. They clock in sales of roughly $1,000 per weekend, Howard says.
"Sometimes I cannot believe my son is my boss," she told CBS. "Like, hold on a second. And sometimes, I have to correct him. Because he sometimes takes that to the head. And I have to say, 'Hold on, Cory, I gotta cut the check. You can't. So, let's get it together.'"
But Nieves, who possesses an authoritative affect well beyond his years, is just getting started. In addition to one day attending Princeton, the fifth grader also dreams of having his own clothing line called Mr. Cory. And like the best entrepreneurs before him, Nieves has a knack for the tease. “All the new stuff that’s gonna come out -- it’s secret,” he says. “G-14 classified.”