A social media marketing team finalizes details for Hawk Soup with marketing teacher Rob Holder, standing, in class at Athens High School Nov. 29.

A social media marketing team finalizes details for Hawk Soup with marketing teacher Rob Holder, standing, in class at Athens High School Nov. 29.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Teen entrepreneurs to pitch business ideas at Hawk Soup in Troy

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 4, 2018

 Athens High School marketing teacher Rob Holder plans to make Hawk Soup an annual event for marketing students.

Athens High School marketing teacher Rob Holder plans to make Hawk Soup an annual event for marketing students.

Photo by Deb Jacques

TROY — The student-owned and student-run businesses run the gamut: one-stop party planning, a twig and stick bundling machine, a barbecue sauce business, a transgender clothing line.

Local students will pitch their businesses for the chance to score some seed money at an event called Hawk Soup Dec. 12. Members of the community can pay a $5 admission to dine on soup and salad at the Athens High School student-run Terrace Café and vote for the business they like best.

Proceeds from the event will be placed in an account for the winning business to draw upon.

The students in Rob Holder’s marketing classes organized the event after Amy Kaherl, who started Detroit Soup, spoke to the class.

Hawk Soup will follow the same format.

“The organization (Detroit Soup) encourages people to start their own soup events,” Holder said.

Athens High School junior Julia Fry, a marketing student in charge of publicizing the event, said the class used a lot of strategies learned in a previous marketing class to promote and organize the event.

Fry said that of the six student-run businesses that auditioned for Hawk Soup, students selected the four they felt would best serve the community.

She noted that Ara Topouzian, the president and CEO of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, came to speak and gave the class inspiration on how to gain sponsors for their events. Fry said Topouzian talked about “what it’s like to work in the actual business world in Troy. It was a great experience.”

“I plan to do it again,” Holder said. “If we fail,  we learn and regroup. If it’s a success, we’ll try to make it better. Our kids will benefit from it.”

Holder explained that Topouzian mentioned to the class that he needed to put together a flyer to solicit sponsors for a chamber event, and Holder volunteered his class to complete the project and send it to the chamber the next day.

“I had a field trip that day, and the students put it together and sent it to him without my approval. I was proud and horrified they didn’t run it by me. He (Topouzian) didn’t like it and said, ‘It’s not good.’”

Holder said the class got a new appreciation for “when it’s your name is on the line. This is part of the lesson.”

The students solicited and obtained sponsorship for Hawk Soup from Porsche of Birmingham, DrinkOurCoffee.com, Safe-Ed LLC and Proven4.

“The administration has really been supportive of these types of efforts,” Holder added.

The community is invited to attend Hawk Soup at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at Athens High School, 4333 John R Road. Each student business will give a 15-minute presentation in the auditorium. Salads and soups will be served in the Terrace Café. The cost to attend is $5.

Visit squareup.com/store/troyathens/item/hawk-soup to purchase tickets in advance.