According to the New York Daily News, Beck Johnson had a business plan, his startup funding a dream of opening an ice cream stand, but first he needed a variance from the Sunapee zoning board to open in a residential zone.
He admits being a bit “freaked out” before his presentation, but ultimately got the go-ahead. That was Oct. 27, 2009 – four months shy of Beck’s 10th birthday.
Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream, which opened in May, is already a booming business under the direction of the young entrepreneur. It grossed $11,000 in May and June’s numbers looked to be even higher.
“He certainly has drive,” said Beck’s fourth-grade teacher, Katie Blewitt, who also supplies the hot fudge for his stand. “It’s his personality trait – he likes to accomplish things.”
Some of his business savvy he picked up by attending the intensive “Ice Cream 101” course at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences with his mother the last weekend in January.
“It was a unique situation,” Professor Robert Roberts, director of the program, said of having a child take a course geared for adult entrepreneurs. “He was not embarrassed to ask questions and his questions were intelligent.”
Beck said he’s saving up to buy a windmill – at a cost of about $6,000 – to offset the $150-plus monthly electrical cost of running the stand’s freezers and a portion of his family’s home.
Photo by AP.