Instead of playing sports or video games this spring and summer, 12-year-old Jaspar Loel plans on expanding his entrepreneurial skills with his business: Legend-Dairy Ice Cream.
Jaspar is a homeschooled seventh-grader who travels around the neighborhood selling homemade ice cream using a handcrafted cart. With time on his hands (after homework and swim practice) and a “strong urge to do something,” he started on the project about a year and a half ago.
Jaspar said that he had seen kids doing similar activities during his trips to San Diego, and he already felt the inspiration to start his own business because of his brother. When he was Jaspar’s age, Joseph Loel had started his own clothing business, so Jaspar felt that he knew how to accomplish such a task – and for him, ice cream wasn’t just a job but a passion.
Jaspar’s desire for the treat was formed a couple of years ago when his mom taught him how ice cream is made. He spent time teaching himself the ins and outs of the more advanced creation methods. He practiced by making ice cream for family gatherings and found that it was something that he was good at.
And while he learned how to make vanilla and chocolate first, Jaspar now sells all kinds of flavors – like butterscotch and strawberry – even going as far as creating his own flavors.
“I love to sell the original flavors, but if I have enough time and am feeling inspired, I like to do a mix of different tastes,” Jaspar said.
The process starts with choosing flavors, then making and freezing the ice cream. Once it’s ready, Jaspar places it in the cart to keep cool.
He also decided that instead of buying a cart to house his ice cream, he wanted to build his own. Along with his dad, Jaspar took an old bike buggy and used his woodworking skills to transform the cart into a full-fledged ice cream wagon, fitted with latches, cans and a menu board.
“I do a woodworking class, and a lot of knowledge came from that class, along with help from my dad,” Jaspar said. “I wouldn’t say building it came easy, but it was easier for me than it might be for other people.”
Jaspar spends time selling his homemade treats once or twice a week, usually doing runs around his neighborhood along Thomas and Osborn Roads. Sometimes, he takes his business to parks and recreation centers.
“To me, desserts are a joy,” Loel said. “And I try to help other people find joy in the sweetness of ice cream.”
He sells his sugar cone size for $2 and a waffle cone size for $4. Toppings like chocolate sauce and sprinkles are 25 cents. Jaspar is currently working on expanding the business by upgrading his cart and possibly hiring others to join in and help.
Jaspar also runs a landscaping business, and with the money he makes from both, he invests in stocks to further his entrepreneurial endeavors.