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Food & Drink

Teen spent five months converting vintage horse box into a bakery

“I’m really grateful for my dad who's been by my side the whole process, but for the most part, it was just me and YouTube videos."

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By Leo Black & Natasha Montague via SWNS

An enterprising teenager spent five months converting a vintage horse box into a vehicle to house her business, From Scratch Bakery.

Alice Kelly, 18, spent the $593 (£512) she received for her 18th birthday on the pony box, which she found second-hand online.

The renovation was an ambitious project for the Alice, who had “barely used a hammer before"

From cleaning, to stripping back the six different color coats of paint, to adding wheels and wiring, she did it all after watching YouTube tutorials.

“I was originally supposed to pay £520 ($602), but the kind man gave me £8 ($9.27) back for the fuel it took me to get there!

"In total, the project cost around £1,400 ($1,622) with the materials for the renovation costing around £870 ($1,008).

“I can not say for sure how much it cost, but it has been much more cost effective to make one from scratch (pardon the pun) than buy one already renovated."

Alice, from Leinster, Ireland, said: “The hardest part was getting started and pulling up all the floorboards. It was mostly looking at it and seeing everything that needed to be done that was hard.”

The teenager funded the project with her 18th birthday money, but also with sponsorships and donations which she received from online supporters.

The money came from her TikTok account, where she shared the step-by-step renovation progress on TikTok in over 80 videos, which now have millions of views.

Although she also had support from her father, Alice explained that she mostly carried out the renovation completely independently.

“I’m really grateful for my dad who's been by my side the whole process, but for the most part, it was just me and YouTube videos," she said.

“The internet has been a great source for learning … although there’s not much about renovating vintage pony boxes!

“I was inspired by a local portable coffee shop made from a pony box, which I passed on my walks during the pandemic and imagined myself selling out of one.

“Except I don’t like coffee, so I decided a bakery was more my style!”

Now that her pop-up bakery build is complete, Alice hopes to start selling her bakes at public markets around Ireland soon.

“It’s looking amazing. I recently added insulation and decorated it. It’s pretty much ready to go!," she said.

Alice has been passionate about baking since she was a child, and this project is the culmination of this passion, and months of toiling.

“I’ve been baking since I could hold a spoon, so around three years old I started baking on my own," she said.

Reacting to the response she’s had online, Alice said it “feels surreal” to know how many people have seen her videos.

“I made a TikTok because I loved what I was doing and wanted to share it with the world - I didn’t expect millions of people to see it!

"It makes me so happy when people come up to me in public and say they recognize me as the girl who renovates the pony box.

“I just want to thank people for their support, even people in the US and the rest of Europe have been here with me."

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