kids holding poster of their business name

Fifth-grade student entrepreneurs launch salsa businesses with hands-on camp experience

July 13, 2022

For the second year in a row, TS Bank and the Council Bluffs Community School District teamed up with various community partners to provide over 30 fifth-grade students from 11 different elementary schools the opportunity to create their own salsa "business" through a hands-on experience.

The five-day traveling summer camp was held in June with stops at TS Bank, CreekTop Gardens and Kitchen Council. The final day included a salsa taste-testing opportunity for community members. Additional camp partners included The 712 Initiative, Chef Around the Block, Hy-Vee, ISU Extension Office and Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center.

On day one, TS Bank's Director of Financial Literacy, Kyle Osborne, challenged students to solve a business problem using the example of a produce stand turned salsa business. Nearly 30 students managed the business' budget, developed a business plan–including business name and brand, created new recipes to market and collaborated with their team members.

On day two, Chef Dan Benigno of Chef Around the Block, helped the students see the need for quality ingredients and a good balance in their recipe selections. Students researched the cost of ingredients, created a recipe list and totaled up the cost of what it was going to take to make their salsa.

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“One of the great joys is to see students take an out-of-the-box problem and solve it with creativity and teamwork. The overall goal of the camp is to connect students to fresh food and entrepreneurial principles,” said Osborne.

On day three, students worked to finalize their salsa ingredients and calculated the sale price of their salsa. Students also created a unique logo and a poster that will for the last day of camp, “Market Day,” where students practiced the sale of their homemade salsa.

On day four, students learned about the importance of communication and first impressions. Students learned how to introduce themselves, describe their product, offer a sample and then ask for the sale in preparation for the final "market day" to the community.

On day five, the final day of camp concluded with a salsa taste-testing opportunity for community members. Each group of students presented their sales pitch and allowed visitors to try a bite of their salsa. It was a great day to celebrate all of the hard work the students put in to make their business a reality.

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Since 2009, TS Banking Group (the bank holding company of TS Bank) has reinvested over $1.25 million specifically toward increasing financial literacy through a division called TS Institute®. Efforts in financial education originally started in the Treynor School District before expanding across southwest Iowa. Over the past few years, this financial literacy programming has grown to include North Dakota and Illinois through TS Banking Group's additional bank charters.

For more information about other financial activities and future career camps contact Kyle Osborne at kyle.osborne@tsinstitute.org.

About TS Bank: TS Bank’s mission is to Ignite Prosperity® in the communities it serves. Leading the resurgence of community banking, TS Bank reinvests 10 percent of their net income locally; hosting educational events and partners with local organizations and non-profits. TS Bank was chartered in 1923 and has $365 million in assets, along with the largest Iowa state-chartered C-Corp trust department west of Des Moines at nearly $218 million in assets named TS Prosperity Group. Locations include Treynor, Macedonia, Atlantic, Corning, Council Bluffs and Ames, Iowa. For more information, visit tsbank.com.