by MELODIE DAVIS
Eva Didot is a senior at Harrisonburg High School who had just earned a spot on her school’s varsity soccer team when she had to make a tough decision: play soccer or keep running her business at Harrisonburg Farmers Market on Saturdays. She truly could not do both and still have a life.
Eva’s last name (pronounced “de-doh”) somehow just seems to go with the name of her business, Crepes Didot. Crepes are a French pastry similar to a pancake, but much more delicate. They can be laced with different kinds of ingredients from fruits to vegetables to meats or sweet syrups or Nutella.
She credits her inspiration as coming from her parents, who are both entrepreneurs; her mother owns A Bowl of Good restaurant in north Harrisonburg, which started at the Farmers Market. So Eva grew up from the age of 6 helping her mother there on Saturdays. She has one older brother.
Two summers ago they traveled to Montreal, Quebec where Eva fell in love with crepes. When they got back her friends were getting jobs. “Dad was kind of like, yeah, it’s time to get a job,” Eva recalls.
She started with a booth at the market and a cheap crepe maker of the type that lasts maybe five months. She then invested in a more professional one that was a lot more expensive. But it “really brought to life what a crepe is,” Eva remarks. She began using other more specialized equipment such as crepe spatulas.
Her friends have asked to help which she loves. “Friends make it fun, sharing the work and excitement.” Even so, Eva has also gained a new appreciation for what hard work is. In summer, she estimates spending about 22 hours a week for preparation and running the market Tuesday and Saturday mornings. During the school year, she works a more manageable 14 hours a week, including selling at her school tailgates before football games. She’s not operating Crepes Didot during the winter market in downtown Harrisonburg, when customers are fewer and profits slimmer; she plans to do indoor track at her high school instead.
Eva plans to apply to George Mason University in D.C. with a double major in business and communications. She knows college is a great way to broaden her experiences and hopes to travel and learn from different cultures.
“When I’m older, I can’t see myself doing anything other than running a business,” she says. She would say to others if they have a passion for something and are willing to work hard, “Go for it. If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t be the person I am. Take the risk.”
MELODIE DAVIS is editor of Valley Living.
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