When the calendar flips over to June, the thing on most high school students’ minds is bolting for the door to go enjoy the sunshine and summer vacation.
But in Martensville, Sask., three teenaged friends had a completely different idea for a summer of fun — starting an ice cream stand.
“We saw an opportunity to do something that’s a little more out there than your regular retail or fast food job,” Cones co-owner Alex Garchinski said. “We saw an opportunity to help the community, too.”
Grade 11 students and longtime friends Garchinski, Carson Heuchert and Wyatt Strueby were hanging out in Garchinski’s garage four months ago, trying to figure out what they wanted to do for summer jobs. That’s when the idea for Cones Ice Cream was born.
“Carson Heuchert, he said, ‘Well let’s open an ice cream stand,’” Garchinski explained. “There used to be one here and they did pretty good, so why not do that? I think he meant it as a bit more of a joke.
“But I took it a little too seriously, and then we began spending many nights in my garage planning it out.”
What may have began as a joke between the three friends has become anything but, something that became apparent on their opening night two weeks ago.
Cones nearly sold out of ice cream, and beyond that, the boys turned a enough of a profit to pay back their parents, who’d leant them their startup money, after just one night.
“It felt amazing,” Heuchert said with a grin. “We never could’ve expected to have that many people come on the first day. It was crazy to just see the whole community come together and come to the shop.”
“After you closed up and saw the success that was there the first day, you were sure you were going to be able to do as much as you could,” Strueby said.
All three are enjoying their early returns while also soaking in every day as a chance to learn the ins and outs of running a business.
However, even more importantly, they see this venture as a profitable way to spend the summer with their closest friends.
“Being able to work here with them, it makes it almost seem like it’s not even work at that point,” Strueby said.
“During tough times, of course with COVID-19, it’s even harder to do something fun,” Heuchert said. “But, I think we’re going that now, having everyone come together.”
From submitting a business proposal to the City of Martensville to their daily duties running the shop, the boys have learned many lessons they hope to apply early and often in life.
“We’re always working now, and working towards the next step,” Garchinski said.
“We’re working, working, working, until eventually we can all go golfing in Palm Springs and retire early.”