In 2015, the White brothers were teenagers too young to find work but old enough to want to buy nice things for themselves. So their mother, Clea, brainstormed and suggested that the boys start their own crushed ice business.
Siblings TreVon, now 23, Mechai, 20, and Tristen, 17, followed their mother’s suggestion and tossed TMT Shaved Ice down their driveway, where they offered flavored crushed ice. and other snacks.
At first, the boys served mainly members of their congregation and neighborhood friends.
Clea White and her husband, Marcus, thought the shaved ice business was just a phase, but they soon noticed the boys were serious. Marcus and Clea White then bought their sons a trailer to run their business.
The trailer is still in use, but today the aisle business that their parents once thought was a phase is preparing to open a location in a small building at 2623 W. Garden St., a process Clea White calls a full circle.
The Whites started looking for a location for their business four years ago but couldn’t find a place. Clea and Marcus White recall seeing the location at 2623 W. Garden St. and thinking, “This is a perfect place.” But they didn’t know how to get in touch with the right people to buy it.
It turns out that Marcus White grew up with the owner of the building. After a small fire, the owner was ready to sell. The Whites then bought the building they had been looking at for years.
âI’m just going to say how God works,â Clea White said. “Everything comes full circle, and we end up getting the building that we looked at four years ago.”
For the young men, the move to a permanent position is the culmination of all the hard work they’ve put into the business they started six years ago. The building still needs some work to be ready, but Marcus White has been working hard to get it ready and they plan to unveil it later this summer.
The new building is a chance to expand what they offer.
âSince we were in the aisle, we have more opportunities, especially when this is fixed, to add more things,â said Mechai White. âFrom the start we started with crushed ice, we didn’t really have any crisps and all that. So I just think about adding little by little and continuing to grow from 2015, when we started.â
Today, TMT Shaved Ice offers different types of snacks, crisps and ice cream. The family even offers punch cards to keep people coming back. The community response to TMT Shaved Ice has been excellent, the family said.
âEveryone has been quite receptive,â said TreVon White. “We saw how much money we could make in just a few hours by letting everyone know we were making crushed ice.”
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TreVon White, the oldest, was quite old when TMT started having a job and now has a job away from TMT Shaved Ice. Mechai White plans to leave for school soon, leaving Tristen White, a high school student at Manual High School, as the store’s main employee.
For the future, the brothers are focused on the success of their store. Parents hope to recruit young children from the neighborhood to work at the company in order to carry on the tradition of TMT shaved ice.