Dreyton McDonald runs his own business, but he’s not quite his own boss just yet.
The 12-year-old runs the food truck Ice Ice Dreyton, which he uses to sell snow cones around Ocala.
“My dad just, he asked me one day, would I like to do a mini-donut business or a snow cone business,” Dreyton McDonald said. “And I said snow cone.”
His dad, Dominic McDonald, helps him run the business and make sure his Dreyton doesn’t spend all his money in one place.
“My day job was working at the Marion County Children’s Alliance, and that was mentoring teenage boys,” Dominic McDonald said. “One of the things that we realized (is) that some of these teenage boys got in trouble because they had nothing to do. So they will go break into cars, or they will do something because they just had idle time. So I didn’t want my son to go down that path.”
Dominic McDonald said he originally thought of a doughnut truck because the Marion County school district has a Doughnuts with Dads event, which brings fathers into the schools.
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“So I thought the doughnut idea would be a great thing to try to keep that going,” he said. “I also realized that we live in Florida, in this heat, and that everybody would love snow cones — whether it was mother, dad, son, daughter — so the snow cones worked out better.”
The pair take the trailer around to birthday parties, sporting events and other occasions around Marion County.
“I like the football games the most,” Dreyton said. “And I like the birthday party so I can get some of the treats.”
Dreyton said he offers between 25 and 30 flavors for his customers.
While his son is making all the money, Dominic McDonald said Ice Ice Dreyton is rewarding for him as well.
“The pay for me is seeing him do something and I can sit back and know that I created it — put him in a position to win,” the father said. “That’s something that my father didn’t do. But he’s trying, you know, and one thing that my father did teach me and my stepfather taught me is to keep trying.”
On the last episode of Florida Foodie, the father and son duo talk about getting Dreyton’s friends involved in the food truck. They also talk about how it has inspired other parents to help their children start a business and how they plan to grow Ice Ice Dreyton in the future.
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Florida Foodie is a biweekly podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact that has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.