Senior opens snow cone business on University Drive

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    The combination of summer heat, 250 different flavors and a gummy bear topping is the recipe for one senior's newest business venture.

    Senior entrepreneurial management major Marshall Boenker opened Snow Place on May 16 in the Ol' South parking lot.

    Boenker first thought of the idea in December, but wanted to be cautious because opening the stand could potentially raise financial risks, he said.

    Over Spring Break, he decided he wanted to test the skills he learned in classes in the real world. Setting all hesitation aside, Boenker decided to take out a loan and got started on setting up Snow Place.

    “It's a snow cone stand, but it operates just like any other business would,” Boenker said. “I have to pay taxes and keep an inventory of syrups and know how much I have and order some more when I need it.”

    Sophomore neuroscience major Trey Harrington, Boenker's fraternity brother, joined his list of employees along with three other friends who are all students at the university.

    Harrington decided he wanted to take part in the opportunity because he had never had a job before and aside from taking summer classes, he did not have a lot planned for the summer, he said.   

    Before officially putting the plan into action, Boenker knew that location would be key.

    Boenker lives on the other side of Fort Worth, where he has seen a lot of snow cone stands, however he realized there were not many near TCU.

    “It's good because not everyone wants to go all the way down to Camp Bowie just to get a snow cone,” Harrington said.

    Boenker talked to the Ol' South management about using their parking lot and pays a monthly fee in order to stay there.

    Kristin Hines, who works with the college ministry at Christ Chapel Bible Church, was one of the many to come by the stand on the first day, said the location was ideal.

    “I don't know of any other snow cone stands in that area, and with so many connections to TCU from the owner to the employees, I think it's perfect to have it near the school,” Hines said.

    Boenker decided what flavors to sell at Snow Place with help from his friends.

    Tiger's Blood, a combination of strawberry and pina colada is the most popular flavor so far, Boenker said.

    Snow place also has 50 different flavor combinations as well as 25 sugar-free flavor options, Boenker said.

    Another way Snow Place stands out is how customers have the option to pay with their credit or debit cards.

    Boenker was in the Apple Store at about the same time that he first started thinking about starting a snow cone stand and saw the Square card reader, which allows him to swipe peoples' credit cards using an attachment to an iPhone.

    “One of the biggest reasons I don't often stop at snow cone stands to get a snow cone is because I don't carry cash,” Boenker said. “With a credit card machine like that, it only charges a rate of 2.75 percent per purchase, with monthly fees, and you can work it over the network on your iPhone. It's really easy and fun. People like to use it.”

    Snow Place operates from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends.

    Visitors can follow @snow_place on Twitter, where Boenker said he would be tweeting deals for his followers.