Launching Young Ideas & Made in Clovis at ClovisFest

September 25, 2023 – This year at ClovisFest, Central Valley Young Entrepreneurs held their 3rd Annual Children’s Business Fair at ClovisFest, “Launching Young Ideas”. The Children’s Business Fair was on Pollasky between Seventh and Eighth street, along with “Made in Clovis”.

This year, 95 kids with 57 unique businesses participated in the Children’s Business Fair at Clovis Fest.

These kids all manned their booths with warm smiles and bright excitement. That was one thing we noticed about the kids booths—how genuinely excited the kids were to see each person who came by. These kids truly are young entrepreneurs. 

Mixed in with the Young Entrepreneurs booths were adult-ran Made in Clovis businesses.

Made In Clovis Marketplace & Expo is “a celebration of creativity at ClovisFest,” according to the Clovis Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a celebration for tech wizards, crafters, tinkerers, food artisans, hobbyists, engineers, science buffs, artists, students, and commercial organizations.”

This is the third year that they’ve had Made in Clovis at ClovisFest, and it was developed to show the work of local creators. 

The Chamber accepted applications for items, inventions and ideas within the following categories: technology, food, crafts, commercial and “other.”

Prior or current vendors at Big Hat Days or ClovisFest were not eligible to participate in the Made In Clovis section of ClovisFest. The section was specifically for amateur entrepreneurs, creators, and innovators.

The street was lined on both sides with the young entrepreneur’s and Made in Clovis booths. There were braided rope bracelets, handmade scrunchies, wooden band guns, baked goods, custom wood cutting boards, fresh baked bread & olive oil, freeze dried candy, custom embroidery, and more. 

One of the children’s businesses was Solo Brothers Paletas. It is run by young entrepreneurs and brothers Matthew, Aiden, and Leo. Solo Brothers Paletas is a great local small business to support in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Paletas are ice pops that became popular in Mexico, and they can be either water-based or milk-based. Solo Brothers Paletas offers both dairy-based and non-dairy based paletas.

One of the adult-run businesses was Coffein Coffee Co. The company produces “Coffee in a coffin for goth/darkwave coffee lovers,” and their beans are “always casketed, never cremated.”

The founder, Dr. Jennifer “Kat” Bechkoff is a full-time marketing professor and mother of two—she established the business just last year. 

Launching Young Ideas by the Central Valley Young Entrepreneurs and Made in Clovis Marketplace & Expo feel like two halves of a whole. One half is for our youth, and the other half is for our up-and-coming creative inventors and innovators. 

According to the Chamber, “During the event, selected participants will be visited by local business leaders, mentors, city officials, and entrepreneurs who will appraise each participant and select several to receive follow-up mentoring, training, and resources to further expand their business/invention or idea.”

This is much like the mentorship, resources, and workshops that the Young Entrepreneurs are given from the founder of Central Valley Young Entrepreneurs, Mykel Suntrapak.

Like we said; two halves of a whole. This section of ClovisFest clearly and tangibly showcases how invested and supportive Clovis is for our up-and-coming small businesses. 

Congratulations to all the businesses that participated! We hope you all had a great weekend at ClovisFest.

Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.