Like many kids his age, Isaiah Tuckett wanted to go to Disney World. What makes Isaiah different is that he took it upon himself to finance a dream vacation for his family.
As KARE News reports, Isaiah had been asking his parents to go to Disney World for years. But the family from Madison, Minnesota preferred to travel within their means, saving money to take trips to New York to see relatives.
Isaiah tried another new recipe this week. Banana with a scrumptious cream cheese frosting! Mmmm!
There was also the question of cost. There are seven members of the Tuckett family, making a trip to Disney World an expensive proposition. As Isaiah’s father, Dan, told KARE:
“A lot of it was probably financial. We just couldn’t afford it.”
His first fans were family, and Isaiah started by making cupcakes for a family celebration. Mom Cheri told CBS News:
“He’s always been interested in being in the kitchen and baking, ever since he was a little kid. It was my mom’s 85th birthday and we were having a party for her, and we decided to bake a few cupcakes.”
That led to his first big order. A friend who loved Isaiah’s cupcakes at the birthday party asked for 200 cupcakes for a graduation party. Soon after, Isaiah began getting more orders.
The teen started his own business, Isaiah’s Tasty Treats, and started taking cupcake orders on Facebook. He also struck a deal with his parents. He told NPR:
“They said that they could buy all the ingredients and I could keep the profit. And then when I raised enough money, we could go to Disney.”
Cheri added that she didn’t believe at the time that her son would be able to raise enough money to take seven people to Disney World:
“I mean, I expected him to try. You know what I mean? But to me it seemed like such a big goal, I didn’t really know that it would be possible.”
But they didn’t account for how popular Isaiah’s cupcakes would become. With the closest bakery about 30 miles from their town, people needed a way to get treats for their events. Isaiah received cupcake orders for birthdays, graduations, funerals, weddings, and more.
He even got an order for 750 cupcakes for prom that took a whole weekend to complete.
“He actually, like, broke our oven,” Cheri told NPR. “So we had to get a new oven.”
Isaiah received so much acclaim for his cupcakes that he started winning ribbons at local fairs, though he admits that it was “nerve-wracking” to compete in baking contests.
It only took a year for Isaiah to raise about $5,000 — enough to take his family to Disney World. His mom told Inside Edition how surprised and proud she was that her 14-year-old son was able to meet his goal:
“I was totally amazed that he did in a year. I was just proud of him that he kept the goal in the front of his mind and kept focused on that. He didn’t turn orders down.”
Thanks to Isaiah’s hard work, the Tuckett family was able to go to Orlando and enjoy the full Disney World experience, even swimming with dolphins. Cheri told Inside Edition:
“He could have chosen just for us to go, but family is really important to him. The fact that he was able to save up to get everyone there, it was a fun memory that none of us will ever forget. I felt blessed to be his mom.”
Now that he has succeeded in his goal to get to Disney World, Isaiah has a new goal. While he’s still two years from being able to drive, the teen plans to save up for his own truck. His father jokes that Isaiah will get a new truck before he does.
Isaiah also hopes to go to culinary school once he’s older. Cheri told NPR that she’s touched to see her son carrying on a family tradition and taking it to a new level:
“Baking was probably, in my life, was the favorite thing that I did with my mom. And so it’s just a part of the whole story that is just so dear to my heart, is that, you know, the thing that I loved the most with my mom is something that I’m able to pass on to him.”