18-year-old buys ice cream store before graduating high school

Last month, Jack Watkins purchased Spencer's Ice Cream in Bradley. This past Sunday, he graduated from high school....

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 3:54 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2018 3:54 PM

Last month, Jack Watkins purchased Spencer's Ice Cream in Bradley. This past Sunday, he graduated from high school.

"I've been looking to do something like this since I was about six," Watkins said. "When I was really young my mom used to bring me here, and I would always get the black raspberry."

At only 18, many of his employees are older than he is, including his sister, Emily Watkins.

"He was like, 'Wouldn't this be cool,' and I was like, 'Yeah that'd be awesome,'and then like a week later he was like, 'Yeah I just bought it,'" she said.

"I'm the ice cream lady," Jean Abbot, who is in charge of the homemade ice cream the parlor sells, said. "Bertha and I make all the ice cream. Bertha is the ice cream machine out back."

When asked what she thought of her new boss, she said, "He's not a bad guy. Notice I didn't say kid? But he is!"

Jack said running a business is hard work, but he's excited to do it and wants to give back to the community.

"We're donating to the Youth Suicide Prevention program at Acadia Hospital in memory of my classmate and friend Nick Tracy," he said.

The parlor is also collecting donations for a family that recently lost their home in a fire.

Jack has these words of encouragement for anyone looking to run their own business.

"Definitely take that opportunity because you can never start too early, and the earlier you start, the better off you'll be," he said.

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