WHEN 12-year-old Zac Burinski discovered he was too young for a paper round, he spiced up his life by starting his own company.
And a year on, the budding Sir Alan Sugar has been blown away by his own success.
“This all started as a way of me making some pocket money,” Zac, 13, said.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would have grown so much so quickly.”
The youngster, from Cumnock, is the brains behind Flava Shaka, which sells a range of healthy ready-made spices.
Third-year pupil Zac makes the mixes at home after lessons at Cumnock Academy – and ships them out on a Saturday when there’s no homework to get in the way.
And incredibly the young businessman still tops up his bank balance with tips from a paper round on a Sunday (now that he’s old enough!), helping deliver copies of Scotland’s favourite Sunday newspaper, The Sunday Post.
“I’ve already got thousands of pounds in the bank,” Zac said.
“Who knows, in a few years, I might even be rich and able to afford a motorbike!”
The social media savvy schoolboy, who runs his own Flava Shaka Facebook and Twitter feeds, has already built up a base of more than 3000 fans, who all love to use his culinary creations to make healthy meals at home.
And the teen entrepreneur even has a team of reps promoting his products across Ayrshire and beyond.
The dry spice mix, which comes in seven flavours, can be mixed with meat or veg and contain no fats, oils or sugars.
Mum Nicola, 41, explained: “The idea came after I was pencilled in for a hysterectomy surgery and needed to lose weight.
“It was the kick-start I needed to follow a healthier and more balanced diet and Zac, who has always had a passion for cooking, decided to help.
“There’s a dish – smoked shredded chicken – that we get from the Chinese and we both love. I had tried and failed to make a healthy homemade version so Zac decided to try working his magic in the kitchen.
“He’s had a passion for cooking since he was about three and I found him trying to make toast on the cooker rings. He was so inventive I had to start locking the kitchen.
“After some trial and error, he’d cut out all the junk and the end result was amazing. We decided he should box it up and try to sell it.
“Zac had been looking for a way to make some extra pocket money. He’d tried to find a paper round, but was told he would need to wait until he was 13.
“It turned out he didn’t need the paper round after all.”
Zac’s products are now selling all over the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA. He’s recently had inquiries from customers in Cyprus and Australia.
And it’s become a family affair, with mum helping to deliver the orders, and papa’s house acting as a “collection point”.
“I must have sold thousands,” Zac said. “It’s good fun and I’m really enjoying learning about business.
“My next step is to get Flava Shaka into supermarkets, but it’s hard because I’m so young.
“Nevertheless, I hope to be in business for many years to come.”
Barmaid Nicola added: “I’m so proud of Zac. He suffers from dyslexia, but doesn’t let it hold him back.
“I don’t know where he gets his entrepreneurial streak from. It’s certainly not me, but I hope it continues. He’s made a real success of it so far – but, for an ambitious youngster like him, it’s only the beginning!”
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