Anyone who has worked retail or food service knows you can learn a lot of life lessons from interacting with the public and counting money. That's what 11-year-old Addison Poehler and her mother, Sara, are planning on.
Addison is the face of Addison's Shaved Ice on Second Street across from the library in Pine River.
“The biggest thing is Addison is 11 and she's too old for daycare and not old enough for no daycare,” Sara said. “It was an opportunity to teach a trade.”
The opportunity arose when the shaved ice shack in Crosslake was relocated to Pine River.
“This got brought over and they knew it was going to sit here,” Sara said. “They offered to have Addison run it for the summer. We decided to give it a shot. I've been working since the end of May to get licensed and that's been approved by the city and Department of Agriculture. We're approved and we can sell shaved ice, bottled pop, water and candy.”
Addison, like other students, has challenges in school, including some social skills and sometimes math. The shaved ice stand offered Sara a way to reinforce these valuable skills and more. The business prices are all based on whole dollar amounts, and Addison has tools to assist her in making change.
“She's had some struggles in school so we thought this would be a chance for her to learn a trade for her future,” Sara said.
Addison will also learn skills that some adults can struggle with, because with a job, Addison needs to learn about savings, balancing bank accounts and keeping a check book. She's already on the right path with her plans for the money she makes from the stand.
“(I'm going to) save it,” Addison said. “I don't really have anything I want to buy with it.”
A lot of work went into bringing this plan to fruition. Over the July 4 weekend, Addison's team not only did maintenance and painting on the stand, but Addison also practiced promoting her business, inviting people escaping the heat at the dam to her shaved ice stand for free samples so she could practice.
“She's been practicing a couple weeks now,” Sara said. “She's pretty good and she does pretty good shaved ice on her own. She hasn't mastered the rainbow yet.”
“I can master it,” Addison said in response.
Work on the stand has attracted a lot of attention and questions. Addison and Sara hope a lot of the people who stopped to ask them about it will return as customers now that they are open.
Addison is excited to share her experience with her friends, whom she hopes will come to visit her and buy treats from her.
Both Addison and Sara hope this grows into something bigger some day.
“I have always had a dream of having a sandwich shack called Sara's Sandwich Shack,” Sara said. “It's something I wanted to do forever. This will always be Addison's Shaved Ice, but mom might have a sandwich shack in the future. There are lots of things that need to be done with plumbing and electric but that's my goal.”
Addison's Shaved Ice will operate primarily during the day and extended hours during special events. They have approval from the city to continue to operate through September, so Addison hopes to cater to customers who are in town for sporting events as well. The shaved ice stand is legally able to sell concessions that won't become unsafe without temperature control. That includes fresh fruit, bottled beverages and shaved ice.