A sweet new business just opened up in the Plaza District at Northwest 16th and Blackwelder. Sasquatch Shaved Ice is a nonprofit snow cone stand that gives low-income teens employment opportunities.
“Teens would be coming to our house, trying to mow our lawns, wash our windows, they were trying to work for money,” says Whitley O’Connor about the reason for starting the business which was approved by the city last year.
About a week ago, O’Connor starting putting six low-income teens to work inside the shipping container stand. Employees must put at least 10 percent of their paychecks into a savings account. The funds are then matched with profits from snow cone sales.
“I want to spend it on college and getting an apartment and all that good stuff,” says Vicky Myers, who plans to attend OSU-OKC after her senior year of high school.
“We want to see them go on, training for skills that will turn into long term careers,” O’Connor said.
Over the first weekend, more than 800 snow cones were sold. The business brags that it has 110 different flavors, the most in the state.
During the permitting process, some business in the Plaza expressed concern that the snow cone stand could stifle business development on the Plaza.
O’Connor says Sasquatch Shaved Ice has been well received so far by business owners and customers.