7-Year-Old's “Restaurant” Half-Business, Half-Charity, Totally Sweet

Convenient location. Good word of mouth. Steady foot traffic. Los Gatos' newest restaurant has a lot going for it.

Things are going so well, in fact, the owner would love to expand his hours. But his Mom and Dad won't let him.

To be clear, Ryland Goldman, proprietor of Ryland's Restaurant is just 7 years old.

His parents, Ben and Berrie Goldman, say their son has talked of opening a restaurant for more than half his life. Or, since he was three. It wasn't until the Goldman's moved to a new home that Ryland saw his opportunity. "I moved here and lots of people walked by my house," Ryland said, "I wanted to sell breakfast to them."

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The Goldman's new home, you see, is just one block from Ryland's school, Daves Lane Elementary. Every day, just before school, there is a steady stream of parents and children walking past Ryland's front door.

What Ryland, a second grader who loves to be in the kitchen, saw was a business opportunity.

So, every couple of weeks, Ryland sets up a folding table and lays out the biscotti, muffins, and brownies he has baked . There is also milk, orange juice, and Starbucks coffee he and his father pick up early in the morning. Ryland also prints and posts a menu, complete with prices ($1.75 for a small coffee, $2 for a large).

To see Ryland's Restaurant in action is to understand that It is clearly much more than a child's lemonade stand. "I think he is a future entrepreneur," said Kit Bragg, Ryland's principal. "It's incredible."

Ryland, however, is also more than an entrepreneur. He's a budding philanthropist.

Ryland decided that half of all the money he makes from his restaurant will go to his elementary school. He told Principal Bragg he'd like it to be use to buy technology for the school. In the mere months that Ryland's Restaurant has been open, he has raised hundreds of dollars for the cause.

Ben and Berrie Goldman promise they did not push their older son to do any of this. "It was totally Ryland's idea," Ben Goldman said, "it's all been 100 percent his ideas."

Their biggest job, in fact, is holding Ryland back. After his first successful morning selling to his neighbors and classmates, Ryland decided he wanted to open every morning. Mom and Dad say they appreciate his enthusiasm, but will keep the hours irregular for the time being.

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