The number of 15-year-olds who wear the hat of an entrepreneur are few and far between, but Lawndale’s Elijah Flores is one. Flores is the founder and operator of ‘Churro Man Can’, a traveling, mobile churro cart that can be found at events, festivals, private parties, and just about any large gathering in the Los Angeles area.
But it seems as though business minds run in the family. A year ago, when Elijah Flores started Churro Man Can, it was alongside his then-12-year-old sister, Piper, who was also launching her own food cart, ‘Piper Mauru’, specializing in cotton candy. And Mr. Flores takes pride in the brother-sister duo that the two operations have grown to be.
“My sister has a business, which inspired me to start this business. She does cotton candy. Cotton candy and churros– they go together. That’s an opportunity for me and my sister to work together,” says Flores.
Now, what began as a method to spend quality time with his sister has evolved into a fruitful business. Since Flores’s very first event about a year ago, which was a family member’s Juneteenth celebration, the word has quickly spread throughout the community, as he’s been booked for many weekends and holidays since. His father, who Flores refers to as his “employee of the month”, also helps with day-to-day operations, along with his mom and even his sister when she’s not tied up with her own cart.
As Flores continues his work in the community, the teen has become quite the people person. He wins his clientele over with his perfected churro, but also, he’s a hustler with a dash of charisma and poise. As party-goers approach the cart for a famous churro, there’s always a warm, familial-like exchange as if the 15-year-old has been in business for decades.
“You need to place a tip jar out, right here,” one customer suggested to Flores while ordering his churro, pointing his index finger at the middle of the cart’s countertop. The customer was right. Flores needed a tip jar, and he humbly considered.
But it’s noticeable that for Flores, Churro Man Can is more than just a money-maker–
it’s a passion project. And aside from his churro cart, the well-rounded teen is also an A+ student, and he’s even a track star– a national champion in the 4×1 relay, to be exact.