At 14, Ian Lovitt isn't old enough to drink beer, but he’s at 3 Daughters Brewing to see a personal project come to life.
What You Need To Know
- 3 Daughters Brewing is part of a local push to help young Black men become entrepreneurs
- The group is called "Men in the Making"
- They helped the students create a fruit punch that they can sell in local stores
“Men in the Making and right choices, the ribbon … I came up with that," Ian told Spectrum News.
He's part of a group made up of more than two dozen young Black males aged 8 to 18 who are being mentored by a group of adult Black men known as “Men in the Making."
In addition to guiding and supporting these youth over the last year, the group has been working on a project to raise their own money by creating and selling a product.
“What we really did is, we built a business and the boys were involved all along the way," said 3 Daughters owner Mike Harting.
Harting donated the supplies and the drink that would become “Men in the Making carbonated Fruit Punch." Students from the University of South Florida St. Pete’s graphics arts program helped the youth design the label.
“Along the way, though, it also developed into — and this is why this program is so incredible,” Harting said. “It developed into, 'How do we involve the boys in this and teach them about how do you start a business? How do you make decisions? How do you write out the costs? Howe do you market this?'”
Lovitt said the experience taught him even more than that.
“Don’t give up because sometimes the unexpected can happen,” he said. “So don’t give up, and don’t let setbacks keep you in one place.”
For the mentors, this fruit punch opens up a can of wonderful worms that can teach young Black youth the self-sufficiency of entrepreneurship.
“We’re gonna get it in front of churches, we’re gonna go around to the bodegas and small stores,” said mentee Clayton Sizemore. “We’re gonna have it here for 3 Daughters to sell. We’re thinking big. We’re thinking big. Watch out.”
“I want y’all to know that we did our best with this," Lovitt said. “And that this was made by young kids with the help of adults.”