Generation Next

Get the scoop behind Nole Ade.Tiny Titans of Industry How six Maclay School kids took an idea and made it a tasty reality

By Erica Bailey

They’re all business, these kids.

Six of them are seated around a square table in the Maclay School library. They’re as serious as a bunch of miniature MBAs.

Each stands and gives a presentation: the product, the market research, the pricing strategy. They tick off their sales figures – 3,750 units in five weeks – and explain their expansion plans.

{mosimage} It looks like a class project, but it isn’t.

The product is real, and so is the money. These grade-schoolers are the Nole Ade team, and they have learned how to make an idea work.

With help from their parents, of course.

Maybe you’ve heard the story of how it started. Five fifth-graders and a third-grader were sitting around in art class, playing with a Gatorade poster their teacher had handed out.

They wondered, the way kids do, why the Seminoles don’t have an Ade of their own.

That might have been the end of it, except that two of them are brothers from a family in the beverage business. Tripp and Teddy Transou mentioned the idea to their mother.

Susie Busch-Transou, who owns the Tri-Eagle Sales distributorship with her husband, told them about a flavored water that Anheuser-Busch had developed. It was called 180 and came in two kinds, orange and lemon-lime. Maybe it could be repackaged and sold as Nole Ade, she suggested.

The kids went to work, meeting with Transou every Monday after school.

“I was very excited that this thought we had might actually become something,” said Kinsey, the team’s spokesgirl.

Transou sent the kids into the field to research competing products, assigned them to work on logos and catchphrases, and set up meetings with Anheuser-Busch, Florida State University and Coca-Cola, which holds the rights to sell all FSU-related drinks.

Six months later, all the right people had signed off on the idea, and the team had a 15.5-ounce can with the ’Noles logo. Nole Ade launched on March 1 – with a limited run of 4,000 cases – in Tallahassee grocery and convenience stores. Within six weeks, there was no Nole Ade left in the warehouse.

Nole Ade was selling “moderately well,” said Greg Spelbring, manager of the Inland Food Store on Jackson Bluff Road.

His store had sold nearly 40 cases by mid-April, mostly to FSU students. Nole Ade also was selling on the Internet,  with collectors paying as much as $5 a can on eBay.

The Maclay kids are hoping to continue their Nole Ade success, planning for an upcoming meeting with Coke executives to discuss continuing the deal.

Boys and Self-Esteem

By Erica Bailey

A boy’s low self-esteem can lead to drug dependency in early adulthood, according to two FSU sociology professors, John Taylor and Donald Lloyd.

They were part of a nine-year study that surveyed 872 boys from different backgrounds, from the sixth or seventh grade to between 19 and 21 years old.

“Low self-esteem is kind of the spark plug for self-destructive behaviors . . . a warning signal that this child needs some attention or perhaps professional counseling,” Taylor said. The study emphasizes the importance of preventing boys from experimenting with drugs.



No More ‘Goo-Goo’

By Amy Tratenberg

Babies between the ages of 1 and 2 can feel powerless because they can’t “say” what they want.

Sign language can help them to express these wants. Pam Phelps of Tallahassee’s Creative Preschool encourages parents to teach their babies to sign.

“We start when the baby is around 10 to 11 months old. Basic signs like ‘more,’ ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ give the baby power and control,” she said. “Signing fits in so well at home. Psychologically, giving the baby this ability is wonderful.”

Baby signing is easy to teach using books such as “Baby Signs” by Linda Acredolo and “Sign With Your Baby” by W. Joseph Garcia.


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