Tell a child to go get a job for those expensive toys and games, and he just might do it. Or at least that’s what Katrina Robinson’s kids did.
Robinson’s 13-year-old son, Jaden, and 12-year-old daughter, Amaya, decided to pad their own entertainment fund by launching Kool Kidz Sno Konez in their Memphis, TN, front yard three years ago.
“We started out with a card table in front of our house, with an extension cord,” Jaden says. “We even used a blender.”
They earned $1,000 – and a snow cone machine – within two summers. Robinson then helped the kidpreneurs think big and step up their enterprise.
“She came to us about the food truck,” Jaden says. “She said we were making enough money to get a truck.”
They found an old truck on Craigslist and refurbished it to meet Shelby County Health Department’s licensing code. Mom drives the Karavan while Jaden makes the cones and Amaya works the window. The trio mainly works on the weekends, covering birthday parties and other private events as well as community events such as the Grizzlies playoffs.
Kool Kidz Sno Konez currently offers 20 flavors of ice – including Barack O’Bubblegum, Marga-rrrrrrrr-ita, and Purple Rain – plus hot dogs and nachos.
Amaya, the seemingly company product manager, once planned to add Kool-Aid pickles to the menu because plain pickles just weren’t huge sellers. But Jaden was thinking more long-term.
“Our goal with the truck is to franchise it, so I don’t have to work when I grow up,” he says.
What is this MBA-early retirement-speak from these barely teens?
But despite their savvy business sense, they’re still kids at heart. Once during a Memphis Zombie Walk, Amaya got a little shook.
“She was scared of the zombies,” Robinson says. “She didn’t want to work the window, but she came around.”