Cardell and Karla McDonald are the co-owners of Show-Me Shaved Ice, a seasonal shaved ice and frozen custard stand located in Hannibal, Missouri.
Show-Me Shaved Ice offers a variety of sweet treats and toppings, making it a go-to spot in the summer for locals, visitors, and families. This sweet spot enjoys helping people in the community kick off their summer with some fun and yummy treats.
Can you tell me a little bit about what you do and offer?
We are a seasonal business, open from May – September, that offers shaved ice in over 28 flavors—not counting several special original flavors we created using a combination of flavors and toppings. We also offer frozen custard as a stand-alone dish or cone of yumminess or made into shakes, mixers, sundaes. We also combine both of our products into something we call the Show-Stopper: frozen custard topped with shaved ice!
We have a semi-permanent building for the season as well as a trailer that we take to fairs, festivals, company events, and other catered events.
What made you decide to start Show-Me Shaved Ice?
My husband retired after 30 years and was looking for something to keep him busy. Our son had been away to a university in another part of the state that had a shaved ice trailer that operated near their campus. When visiting him, he took us and we all decided that our town needed shaved ice!
We are a tourist town and also have a university. We thought it would be great for visitors and students, as well as local families. We bought the trailer and set up in the parking lot of a restaurant. And then a couple of years later, added the frozen custard, sought a more suitable location, bought a new semi-permanent building for the main location, and began booking the trailer for various events throughout the area.
What’s your favorite part of running your own business?
The favorite part is being able to provide something unique and fun for the residents and visitors of our community. Families look forward to the opening of Show-Me Shaved Ice every May and many have made their first visit each season an annual tradition that marks the beginning of summer. My husband also loves being known around town as the “shaved ice guy!”
What are some of the biggest challenges of running your own business?
The biggest challenge is finding employees that have a strong work ethic and that understand the challenges of small business ownership. They do not realize the trust and responsibility we are handing over to them. An employee will likely never have the same passion and care for quality as the business owner.
How does Patriot’s Full Service Payroll help you run your business?
One of our biggest concerns of opening a business was needing to employ others and be compliant with all things that are required. Patriot has made that one of the easiest things!! Some simple data entry to set up a new employee and then a few minutes each pay period to enter the hours worked, and Patriot takes care of the rest. Pay stubs, payroll taxes, tax deposits—all taken care of for us. And then at the end of the year, we simply print W-2s and a few reports to take to our tax preparer. Excellent service at an affordable price!
When it comes to your business, what are you most proud of?
We are most proud of the fact that we started with an idea, got it off the ground, and have grown into a well-known and loved addition to our community. We have learned so much and have had a lot of fun as well.
What words of advice do you have for people hoping to start their own small business?
Even though your idea may be big, start off slowly. It is best to start smaller and do well, then reinvest and add to the business as you are able, until it becomes what you originally planned. Or in our case … more than we originally planned!
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