Boy in Ocala, Florida runs a snow cone business called Ice Ice Drayton: NPR


Drayton McDonald’s sells snow cones from its mobile shop, Ice Ice Dreton, in Ocala, Fla.

Dominic McDonald


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Dominic McDonald


Drayton McDonald’s sells snow cones from its mobile shop, Ice Ice Dreton, in Ocala, Fla.

Dominic McDonald

Drayton McDonald knows he’s not a regular kid and he likes it that way.

“I guess you could say, I am BusinessmanMadam,” the 12-year-old politely told NPR.

And he has been for many years now.

At the age of 9, he said that his father, Dominic McDonald, approached him with a proposal: “My dad asked me to choose between selling or selling donuts. selling snow cones And I didn’t want to sell donuts,” he explained.

With that, the grown-up McDonald’s was off to buy his son a 14-by-8-foot trailer, which was converted into a mobile snow cone shop called Ice Ice Drayton. On weekends, trailer parks and special events are set up in Ocala, Fla., where Drayton and his father live.

“I drive and I set the generator, but really, he’s calling the shots. He does everything else,” McDonald said.

That means Drayton is responsible, not only for making the snow cones, but also for choosing which flavors to offer – Dreamsicle and Cotton Candy are his favorites – enticing customers, and handling all the money.

When asked what his favorite part of the job is, Drayton said, “making sure customers are satisfied with their snow cones and the payments they make.”

For his father, who runs a massage therapy business, part of the inspiration for the Snow Cone shop was to help Drayton feel connected to Ocala, where he moved after he had full custody of McDonald’s. But it also came out of necessity.

“I’m a single dad,” McDonald said. “It’s hard to get… and I wanted him to learn that he has to contribute too.”

It helps that it keeps her son busy in a creative way.

“I wanted something to keep him and his teammates out of trouble,” McDonald said. “It’s a way they can make money so they can buy things they need or want, like school clothes or toys or sports, shoes, whatever. And, if I can help her and her peers So that means I’m helping other families and that’s what I’m about.”

Drayton said he likes to be in charge and that his friends like to work with him.

“I think I’m a good boss,” he said after some thought, “that’s what my friends say.”


Drayton (left) and his friend working in the stand.

Courtesy of Dominic McDonald


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Courtesy of Dominic McDonald

He also likes the freedom of all this.

“It’s nice to know that I have my own money and can buy anything I want, but my dad is saving money for me too,” he said in another talkative moment.

McDonald’s is pooling the lion’s share of profits for Drayton’s college tuition or a new business venture it wants to take up in the future. He said that by now there are a few thousand dollars in the bank and by the time seventh graders graduate from high school, a lot will be there.

That doesn’t mean McDonald’s doesn’t allow its son the occasional indulgence.

Drayton recently splurge on a new school wardrobe and an iconic pair of Nike Air Jordans.

“They were $150!” Drayton said happily. This is his most expensive purchase ever.

He said Drayton would do more if he could. But along with schoolwork and basketball practice, he’s limited to weekends and the rare school night special event where he gets to sling “snow cones that make people happy.”

He has definitely caught the entrepreneurial bug from his father, he said. The two talk about opening a storefront someday now that his father will run during the day and he will take charge at night. And he hopes to move on from shaved ice someday.

“I’m learning to cook in school this year, so maybe I’ll learn some recipes and start selling food too,” he said.

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