SALEMBURG — Business partners Caegan Jackson and Mason Lockamy were a little nervous while presenting their idea to sharks — local business professionals. But they were successful.
The Midway High School students were some of the students who participated in first annual Shark Tank competition, hosted by Lakewood High School. It was based on the reality television show where contestants present their ideas to judges. The concept behind Jackson and Lockamy’s business was to blend Italian, Mexican and American foods under one roof. Through a food truck, they would like to explore the idea in the future. The result of their creativity resulted in a first runner up award during the competition.
“It’s huge for us,” Jackson said about receiving one of the top honors.
“We’re really pleased with what the sharks had to say,” Jackson added. “We got a lot of good feedback. That was really good for us.”
Lockamy also enjoyed the experience of the competition, which featured teams representing schools from the Sampson County and Clinton districts. A group of their schoolmates from Midway Middle were the champions for their business titled “Healthy Heaven.”
The competition was an addition to the Sampson County Cupcake Wars, which was open to the public. Admission was a non-perishable food item or bottled water for the Salemburg Food Bank. Organizer Michelle Lindsey, a Family Consumer Science Teacher, was pleased with the turnout and student participation. The overall purpose is to showcase culinary and business skills.
“I think it was wonderful,” Lindsey said. “The Shark Tank part was so much more than I thought it was going to be. It was intense and that’s what the kids need.”
Students from the beginning Foods and Nutrition I class used themes from Disney movies for the Cupcake Wars competition. Some of themes came from classics such as “Snow White,” and “Lilo and Stitch.” Clinton High School won first place for their cupcakes based on 1998 film the “The Parent Trap.” Lakewood was the runner up and used a Cinderella theme.
Kimslee Walton, a sixth-grader at Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School, was also recognized for her contribution. She made cupcakes out of peanut butter and chocolate and is the daughter of Richard and Angela Walton. She used a theme from “Dumbo.” Although she couldn’t compete, Kimslee enjoyed sharing her cupcakes. She hopes to win a top prize in several years when she becomes a student at Lakewood High School.
Lindsey and other school professionals expressed how the competition spotlights the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program and its benefits for local students.
“I’m a big advocate for CTE,” she said. “What can you do without a CTE? This shows the public what we do and we’re doing big things.”