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Story #89Holmes Mouthwatering ApplesauceShaker Heights, OH

It’s different because we actually incorporate entrepreneurship into the product.

When most kids his age were asking for cell phones or video games for Christmas, Ethan Holmes was asking for apples. The 21-year-old is the founder and CEO of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce, a 100 percent all-natural handmade applesauce made with locally sourced apples, pears and apple cider. In addition to donating 10% of all proceeds to fighting childhood obesity, the product incorporates entrepreneurship by involving high-school students in the manufacturing process and educating them about starting a small business.

Fascinated with entrepreneurship at an early age, Holmes taught himself about running a business through lemonade stands and landscaping services before founding his small business at the young age of 15. As for why he chose applesauce, Holmes says, “I realized we were moving away from sweets and sugary things, and I wanted to bring something new that has a homemade feel to it.” He asked his grandfather, the cook of the household, to give him his applesauce recipe, and spent the next year tweaking it to his liking.

The unique aspect of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce lies in the structure of the small business. Holmes recruits high-school students to help him manufacture the product in small batches at The Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen. In turn, he educates them about running a small business and offers Youth Entrepreneurs Workshops at least once a month at local schools. Managing people and his busy schedule was challenging for Holmes at first, but he says, “Once you make it past that hump, everything gradually becomes easier.”

Above all, Holmes wants to show young kids like himself that starting a business is possible. “A lot of people say, oh you can do it when you’re older. But you can start on it now, and take baby steps.” While Holmes hopes that his business will continue to grow, and dreams of having his own facility to produce his applesauce, he hasn’t lost sight of the bigger picture:

“I want to inspire. As long as I can help other young entrepreneurs realize that their dreams are possible, that’s all I really need.”

 

Photos by Shaul Schwarz

 

  • Ethan Holmes created a workshop called the Young Entrepreneurs Workshop, and once a month he goes to local schools to show students that what he does is possible for them as well.

  • Justin Harrington, a partner at Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce, hands out samples at a local retail location.

  • One of the defining moments for Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce was when Heinen’s, the largest grocery chain in Northeast Ohio, placed an order to carry the product in all of their locations.

  • “I want to inspire,” says Ethan Holmes, founder of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce. “As long as I can help other young entrepreneurs realize that their dreams are possible, that’s all I really need.”

  • Ethan Holmes labels a jar of his homemade Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce.

  • “I’ve had people say ‘You need to have a co-packer and cut the kids out,’” says Ethan Holmes. “But I think what has really kept this going is that we’re socially conscious and health conscious.”

  • Ethan Holmes says that first getting started in the kitchen was one of the biggest challenges. “We go through 400 jars every Saturday.” He quickly learned how to delegate responsibilities, saying that “Now it’s like drinking water.”

  • The founder of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce decided on the product because he wanted to make something that was healthy and had a homemade feel to it. “I saw an opportunity,” he says.

  • What sets Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce apart is that they incorporate entrepreneurship into the product. Owner Ethan Holmes recruits high school students to help with the manufacturing, in turn educating them about what it takes to run their own small business.

  • Ethan Holmes asked his grandfather for his applesauce recipe, and spent the next year tweaking it to his liking. He eventually settled on a 100 percent all-natural recipe with only three ingredients: locally sourced apples, pears and apple cider.

  • Ethan Holmes, founder of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce. The young entrepreneur founded his business when he was only 15 years old, proving that it’s never too early to start.

Business Details

Proprietor: Ethan Holmes
21315 Fairmount Blvd. Shaker Heights, OH 44118
Website
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