Young island entrepreneur launches beach snow cone business
On a sunny, blustery day, 17-year-old Kaleb Muehe pushed a cart loaded with three ice chests down the ramp at 29th Street in Galveston.
Muehe learned during spring break that one chest wasn’t enough for a day of selling snow cones on the beach.
“I sold out pretty quick,” he said.
The rising Ball High School senior has decided to take on some sweet work this summer by starting his own business selling the icy snow cone treats to beachgoers.
He named the business Shorecrest Sno after a hotel his grandfather once owned on 41st Street on the island.
It’s a good opportunity to make some money and to spend the summer on the beach, which Muehe loves, he said.
“I just come out here to clear my mind,” Muehe said. “I have that salt-water soul.”
His setup is simple: ice, disposable cups and spoons, colorful syrup, napkins and, on days it isn’t too windy, an umbrella.
Muehe sells the snow cones between 25th and 29th streets, his assigned area from the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, which permits beach vendors. The business already is well-branded. Muehe walks the beach sporting the Shorecrest Sno logo — a sparkly snow cone wearing sunglasses — on his cart and shirt.
Muehe got the idea for the snow cone business last summer when he was working as a guard in Galveston Island Beach Patrol, he said.
“I noticed the people working the snow cone stands were working a pretty fun gig,” Muehe said. “I wanted to pick it up and try it myself.”
Muehe and his father got to work building his cart, which they constructed with skills Muehe had learned in a welding program at Ball High School, he said.
During spring break, Muehe took the cart out for the first time to give the business a test run.
“It was actually a learning experience,” Muehe said. “I had to get my toes wet.”
The week allowed him to troubleshoot some issues, like making sure his umbrella is down on a windy day, he said.
“My cart will just start rolling away,” Muehe said.
During the summer, he plans to sell snow cones every day and hopes for hot weather, he said.
The goal is to earn some money for college, Muehe said.
“I want to work hard all summer,” he said.
Muehe aims to be an entrepreneur, he said.
He used to earn some cash by cutting grass for his neighbors.
Eventually, he hopes to open businesses islanders know well, he said.
“I want to make my name known on the island someday when I’m older,” Muehe said.
Someday, he hopes to buy his grandfather’s old land on 41st Street and open a coffee shop or retail shopping business, he said.
For the summer, he’ll stick to the snow cones.