This 12-Year-Old Entrepreneur With Down Syndrome Started a Cupcake Shop

Wisconsin middle schooler John Truel isn’t letting his disability get in the way of co-owning a cupcake shop with his mom

His mom hopes he’ll run the shop by himself someday.

How sweet success is! John Truel, 12, a Wisconsin native, isn’t letting his young age or disability get in the way of co-owning a cupcake shop (appropriately called “Cupcakes”) in Marshfield with his mother.

Truel, who has Down syndrome, helps to recommend and serve cupcakes to customers and learned how to work the cash register, his proud mother, Patricia Truel, told WSAW.

His mom says he adores “having responsibilities,” even if that means helping out with not-so-fun chores like sweeping the floors and washing the dishes.

"His second week working the register he learned on his own that a dozen means 12, and I was like, that's the purpose of this shop is to teach him those little basic things," Patricia Truel said. “Everyone has abilities, you've just got to provide them with opportunity and the tools to show off their abilities.”

Facebook c/o Cupcakes on 8th 


John sells 25-cent mini-cupcakes and make-a-cupcake kits during his shift. His all-time favorite flavor from among the shop’s offerings? “Peanut butter cookie.”