Main menu

Pages

A 12-year-old boy learns about business and life while throwing shaved ice at Okara

Drayton MacDonald knows he’s no ordinary kid, and he likes it.

“I’m a businessman, ma’am, I think you can say,” the 12-year-old girl politely told NPR.

And he’s been around for several years.

He said that when he was nine years old, his father, Dominic McDonald, gave him a proposal.

So Elder MacDonald went out to buy his son a 14-by-8-foot trailer. This trailer has been converted into a mobile shaved ice shop called Ice Ice Dreyton. On weekends, trailers are set up at parks and special events in Ocala, Florida, where Drayton and his dad live.

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

This means that Dreyton is responsible not only for making shaved ice, but also choosing which flavors to serve (his favorites are Dreamsicle and cotton candy), attracting customers, and handling all the money.

When asked what he liked about his job, Dreyton said:

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. But it also arose out of necessity.

“I’m a single father,” said MacDonald. “It’s hard to pull through … and I wanted him to know that he had to contribute as well.”

It also helps my son stay focused in a constructive way.

“I wanted something to keep him and his peers out of trouble,” McDonald said. It’s a way to earn money, and if I can help him and his peers do that, it means I help other families, which is my purpose.

Drayton said he likes being in control and working with friends.

“I think I’m a good boss,” he thought for a moment before adding, “That’s what my friends say.”

Drayton (left) and his friend working on the stand. (Photo courtesy of Dominic McDonald)

He also likes that everything is independent.

“Not only does it feel good to know that I have my own money and can buy what I want, it feels good to know that my father is saving it for me. “

Comments