Edmonton

When the summer job market let them down, these Alberta teens got Da Scoop

Four entrepreneurs who turned 16 during the pandemic couldn't find summer jobs due to their age or inexperience. So they took matters into their own hands, with ice cream.

'We were just like, it would be fun. It's summer, it's hot. Ice cream!' 

Three teenaged girls and a teenaged boy stand in front of an ice cream truck.
From left: Alexandra Rowland-Dow, Trinidad Lefebvre, Elizabeth Rowland-Dow and Antonio Lefebvre with their ice cream truck, Da Scoop, in Leduc, Alta. (Brendan Coulter/CBC)

After having no luck finding jobs, four teenagers in Leduc, Alta., took matters into their own hands and had a cool idea for work: running their own ice cream truck.

"We were just like, it would be fun. It's summer, it's hot. Ice cream! So we're like, it'd be a good summer job," said 17-year-old Trinidad Lefebvre. 

Two pairs of siblings — Trinidad and Antonio Lefebvre and Elizabeth and Alexandra Rowland-Dow — named their ice cream truck Da Scoop.

"Our original idea was to have it kind of like a newspaper theme … we just wanted it to be like, 'Get da scoop,'" explained Elizabeth, 16.

Trinidad and Antonio Lefebvre, and Elizabeth and Alexandra Rowland-Dow are four teens from Leduc county who are running an ice cream trailer called "Da Scoop" to pay for college. Edmonton AM's Brendan Coulter went to Beaumont to get the scoop on their new business.

They carry a variety of flavours including fudge brownie, chocolate, mint chip, vanilla cookie dough, strawberry cotton candy, butter pecan and raspberry sorbet. Besides cones, they can make floats and milkshakes. Freezies and chips are also on the menu.

Although the four love working together — "It's someone who I know and who I enjoy being with in the first place. So working with them is just really enjoyable," 15-year-old Alexandra said — like all business partners, they sometimes have disagreements.

But they have found their own way of resolving arguments.

"We have a safe word," said Trinidad. "If we're having, like, a little sibling war, we'll all scream 'PINEAPPLE!' and everyone just stops — and we stop talking about it and we just walk away." 

Whatever issue got shelved is brought up again for resolution at a group meeting once they have closed shop. 

COVID teens

Da Scoop got started after the four had exhausted all options of trying to find jobs this summer. 

"We were all looking for a job and none of us had the experience because we all turned 16 in COVID," said Trinidad.

"You either have to have experience or be 18. And we're all like, none of us are 18, none of us have experience."

After some brainstorming they came up with the idea of an ice cream truck. Their parents found and financed a food truck, and the teens are repaying them with earnings from the business.

Watch | Teen entrepreneurs talk about their summer business:

It's the sweet entrepreneurial dream for these teens

5 months ago
Duration 2:31
When four Alberta teens ran into trouble finding summer jobs, their parents helped them finance an ice cream truck. Now, they're their own bosses and business is good.

"My parents, they put the money into it, but we are going to be paying them back for it. So it was kind of like a loan," said Alexandra.

The goal of the ice cream truck is not only to raise money for their college funds, but also to provide an opportunity for other teenagers in the same boat.

"We will be able to put them in the same position that we were and give them something that they can do that will be able to help them with their college or help them with whatever they want to do," said Alexandra.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kashmala Fida Mohatarem is a reporter and associate producer with CBC Edmonton.

With files from Brendan Coulter

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