PREMONT, Texas — About a month ago, the special education department at Premont High School started the Cowboy Cakery. What started as regular class curriculum turned into more.
“The kids loved the cupcake aspect. They loved baking, and I realized that could be something I could grow with, and improve on their employability skills when they get out of high school,” said Deidra Jaramillo-Pulido, the special education teacher.
Jaramillo-Pulido said the goal of her lessons is to extend beyond the classroom, and teach her kids life skills they can use in their every day lives. So, the baked goods the students make in the classroom get sent down the road to Falfurrias to get sold at Rebecca’s Breakfast and More.
“I like to help the kids, I just like to help the community,” said Rebecca Garza, the owner of Rebecca’s Breakfast and More.
Garza, a Premont grad herself, got involved after Jaramillo-Pulido, who is friends with Garza’s daughter, reached out to see if the goods could be sold at the store.
Rebecca’s doesn’t typically sell sweets, so when Garza started offering the goods from the Cowboy Cakery, her customers were overwhelmingly supportive of it.
“The first day they made cupcakes, and they sold out very fast, before we even opened the store,” Garza laughed, “I put it on Facebook and it already sold out.”
After teachers at Premont High School heard about the Cowboy Cakery, they wanted to buy baked goods as well, so the Cakery started taking orders from teachers and students to deliver during the school day.
“They usually ask us, ‘when are you going to make more? So we can know,’” said Premont sophomore Romen Rios. He said his friends and teachers always look forward to their deliveries.
Jaramillo-Pulido has the students prepare the food, but they also deliver it, and handle the transactions. She guides the students as they go through the process, including counting change to make sure they have the right amount of money, because she wants them to learn through the whole process.
“We go to people’s classes, and we’re like, ‘do you want a cupcake or not?’ and they give us money, and we give them a cupcake,” said eighth grader Xavier Perry.
The response around school has been positive from everyone.
“Admin loves it, the kids, especially, love it, and everybody that buys from us have really enjoyed it,” Jaramillo-Pulido said.
The positive feedback encourages the students, and makes them want to continue their work.
“It actually feels good because we actually make them for people,” Perry said.
“It makes us feel good, because now that I can actually give out something that people like, and I think it’s very nice for the people to try out the foods that we make,” Rios said.
For Jaramillo-Pulido, seeing the students enjoying themselves and wanting to keep going, it reminds her why she loves her job.
“It means they’re loving it as much as I’m loving teaching it to them,” she said.
Jaramillo-Pulido said she is not sure exactly what the money raised by the Cowboy Cakery will go towards, but knows it will benefit the students. She said she wants to throw them an end-of-the-year party, take them out for dinner, or get them gift bags with the money they raise.