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Meet Grambling State University Alumni, Jay Charles, of Frostie Flavors Shaved Ice (426 hits)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jay Charles.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.

I was inspired by my then one-year-old son Jaylen to start a shaved ice business after discovering he was lactose intolerant. I knew ice cream was not an option for him so I started looking for an alternative cool treat however, unfortunately, for my son and others alike, few alternatives presented themselves in the area. At that point, I had an “aha” moment and began the process of researching to start “Frostie Flavors” shaved ice company.

Frostie Flavors quickly became a major fundraising source for schools, PTAs, youth sports, and other extra-curricular leagues. We also gained popularity after securing a deal at Sunlife Stadium (home of the Miami Dolphins currently know as HardRock Stadium home) and then a semi-permanent contract at a newly built mall in West Palm Beach, FL called The Palm Beach Outlets. Now that we have a consumer base for our product, we are looking to increase efficiency and expand our business to the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami areas.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

Starting Frostie Flavors has been everything but a smooth road. Partially because in the beginning I treated the business like a hobby. It wasn’t until I was laid off from my permanent employment that I started to take it more seriously. At the time, I was a new father, in the middle of a recession, with no major savings, and then without a job. The struggle had gotten real. I had become depressed and didn’t know where to turn, because it seemed to be a tough time for everyone.

I prayed for sound mind and guidance to be pointed in the right direction. This led me to reach out to my old youth football team to negotiate if I could sell shaved ice during the games that I would give them a percentage each week; they agreed. After the agreement, each week I packed the 195-pound machine, tents, tables, coolers, ice and other supplies in my Honda and went to work. Then, I started getting birthday party requests, principals, teachers, and PTAs started calling about providing shaved ice at their school functions, and everything seemed to have properly fallen into place.

While the business’s popularity increased, there were still missing pieces; which were the legality of business licensing, permits, and other expenses. After discovering to be a vendor for schools I had to have all my permits and documents, I decided to reinvest the money to get those things in order which temporarily depleted all my funds. Therefore, the biggest struggle was lack of resources and guidance, along with having to wear various hats while running the business.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Frostie Flavors Shaved Ice – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Let me introduce to you to our delicious cool icy treat, Frostie Flavors. We’re a gourmet shaved ice company based out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and have been in business since 2010. We have an operation running daily at the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach, FL.

What makes us so amazing?

You can call it a snoball, rasporados, pirogue or fresco (as they do in Haiti) but whatever you do, don’t call it a snow cone. Our shaved ice is soft and fluffy snow with mouthwatering flavors, as opposed to the hard-granular ice, often affiliated with ordinary snow-cones. We cater to teenagers, young professionals, and families with kids. We will make any festival, or event, the talk of the town with our delicious cool treats. We’ve even added a new line of flavors, the organic way. It’s called Frostie by Nature, and it delivers the same great taste people have come to love at Frostie Flavors, but without artificial flavoring or coloring. Mother Nature couldn’t do a better job herself. We use the finest state-of-the-art ice shavers to produce the actual snow, then shower it with one of our amazing homemade flavors, creating a tasty, refreshing treat that the whole family can enjoy!

What Flavors do we offer?
Our shaved ice is made fresh to order. We offer classic flavors like Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Strawberry, and Grape; to exotic flavors such as Bahama Mama Drama and Tropical Oasis; and specials like Superman, The Hulk, and The Black Panther… just to name a few! We truly live up to our motto “Taste the Flavors not the Ice.”

What services do we offer?
Frostie Flavors self-contained shaved ice carts have served delicious treats at various venues including Lockhart Stadium, SunLife Stadium, parks, college campuses, local high, middle and elementary schools throughout Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. We have also been contracted, and available for block parties, Luau, fundraisers, school festivals, carnivals, sporting tournaments and corporate events. Nothing is too big or too small!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
After analyzing the success of past three summers, we have outgrown or reached our cap for one kiosk located at the Palm Beach Outlets. This has led to the idea of adding an open brick and border shaved ice shop in Ft. Lauderdale, where it all started. We currently in the process of applying for a small business loan through Urban League of Broward County, called Capital Access Funds of Florida. It’s only available for small minority-owned businesses, and it provides $25k-$250k with pre- and post-loan counseling. It’s set up to help sustain an existing company like Frostie Flavors and create jobs for community residents, along with building community wealth. If approved, we plan to open multiple shaved ice shops in Broward and Dade county.

We’ve reached a point where a storefront is needed to take company to the next level. The plan is to offer additional items on our menu to increase revenues, get more storage space to purchase in bulk, and most importantly, have a central hub to run a youth employment training program calles “CoolServings” that will provide opportunities for underprivileged youth after school and during the summer months. This could have an immediate impact in the community in the effort in paying it forward. Ultimately, this will fulfill one of our few corporate social responsibilities, as all businesses should be making an effort in serving their communities across the nation.

Frostie Flavors Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frostieflavors/
Posted By: Reginald Culpepper
Tuesday, June 19th 2018 at 4:11PM
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