(Asking 13-year-old Masey Adams to have a cup of coffee with The Cosmos was a little like carrying coals to Newcastle because she runs her own coffee stand at the Farmers Market. Not only that, but she doesn’t drink coffee herself. Nevertheless, we asked because we were intrigued by this young lady.)
How long have you been running your coffee stand, Masey?
This is my second year selling coffee and my third year at the Farmers Market. The first year I sold lip balm and that led me to sponsor a child for a year. And last year I did coffee and donated to the Eric Walters Foundation and this year I’m donating to Egale Canada Outreach. They help LGBT youth. They support these kids in crisis or need, connect with emergency housing and help them with therapy.
Was it your own lip balm?
Yes, I made my own lip balm.
What made you switch to coffee? Most kids you age go for a lemonade stand.
Well, I have lemonade as well, but when I was here for my first year, I did two weeks. The second week I was here, I was next to a lady who said “I wish there was some coffee here”, and I thought I could do pretty well off of coffee. Even though I don’t drink a lot of coffee because I’m 13, I figured there were a lot of people who did drink coffee, so I switched and opened a coffee stand. It worked out quite well for me.
How much money would you say you have donated over the last three years?
I’m not quite sure. I donate in different amounts. I’m not 100 per cent sure, I’d have to look it up.
Do you donate all that you earn?
I donate all of my profits. Last year, there was one week where I went to California for a girls leadership summit run by Discovery Girls magazine, so one week I used the profits to pay for my plane ticket, but other than that . . .
Is that why you started in the first place, to raise money for charity?
Yes. I went to my school to ask for permission to do some fundraising there but I was told that the thing I wanted to do was too small of an initiative and I had to wait until Grade 7 or 8. I didn’t like that so I found my own way of doing it.
You have a coffee making machine, blenders and other equipment. Did you have to start up using your own money?
My parents helped me out a lot. I used birthday money.
When do you start up and end?
We start at the beginning of May and then we go until mid-October.
Now, I know you went to cadet camp a couple of weeks ago, but you give up all your summer Sundays to do this?
I don’t really mind. I would just be home not doing it. I really enjoy it. I give up some time but I don’t really feel like I do because I interact with some really nice people.
You’re in Cadets. What rank are you?
I’m currently a corporal. I joined in late September last year. I’m also a Girl Guide, a member of Roxy Kids, I take vocal lessons and at school I’m in Kids For Kids and I help out in an associated class. And I generally try to do a musical if I have the chance.
And what musicals have you been in?
I did Annie, Peter Pan and Midsummer Night’s Dream with Ryleepuss and at school I’ve done Much Ado About Nothing.
What do you do in your spare time?
I read a fair bit. I have more spare time than people would think.
What grade are you in, Masey?
I’m going into Grade 8.
You’re not even in high school yet! How do you do academically?
My average this year was 95. I have to work very hard to get my grades because I’m dyslexic and dysgraphic.
It messes with my hand-eye co-ordination.
Masey, even at my age, I learn new things every day. I’ve never heard of dysgraphia.
Yes, there’s a lot of things related to learning disabilities. I generally have to check my numbers a few times.
With all the things you’re involved with, Masey, it sounds like you are driven. Where do you get this drive from?
When I was younger, I was doing very, very poorly in school. Even though I tried really, really hard, I probably would have failed because I hadn’t been diagnosed yet. But when I got into Grade 4, I had wonderful people who really helped me out. And I like to give back. For me, helping people actually helps me with my anxiety as well. It helps me a lot interacting with other people.
I’m intrigued that one of the causes you donate to is LGBT youth. For a 13-year-old girl, that seems to be a strange cause.
A lot of my friends identify in the spectrum and also after the Pulse nightclub shooting I was really upset. And there are some very sad statistics. I was shocked at all these statistics and how much at risk this part of the population was. I just didn’t think it was very right. I felt there was something I could be doing about it.
Let’s talk abut the Farmers Market for a while, Masey. It’s shrinking. Are you worried?
I am worried, yes. It’s very important, because it’s such a great market, but we’re losing people. At first we ended up losing people who are going to Sutton but then vendors just quit because there weren’t enough people here. I’m still doing okay, but some of the other people need to sell more than I do. I’m hoping next year we’ll get some more people back.
If the worst happens, Masey, what would you do?
I’d probably switch to Sutton, unfortunately. The market there is extremely busy.
To have your stand here, do you have to pay?
Yes, I pay $20 a week. That gives me use of the hydro as well.
Is there anything special about your coffee?
It’s fair trade; it’s roasted in Stouffville, so it’s very fresh. It’s high quality coffee and I don’t make it in a coffee maker, I use pour over. I’ve tried other coffees and even though I’m not a coffee drinker, I prefer mine.
And you also sell lemonade.
Lemonade, I made dog cookies and sometimes baked goods. They were peanut butter/banana dog cookies.
And how do they do?
I sold out today. And sometimes I have iced coffee and tea. But my main thing is coffee.
What about your future plans, Masey? Where do you see yourself heading?
I’m hoping to be able to continue this until I am in university, but I don’t know if that will be feasible due to my Cadets and my extra-curriculars. But really, I’m hoping to go into science and technology or I actually really love politics. I absolutely adore politics. I can’t wait until I can vote. I’d love to work in law as well, but I really want to travel. My mom’s travelled all over the world and I’d love to do that.
Masey, you’re delightful. Thank you.