High School Seniors Turned “Cool” Entrepreneurs

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LEBANON TOWNSHIP -- When the hot weather like this arrives a lot of us think ice cream and at ice cream stands all over our area, there are teenagers serving up the cones and shakes.

But at one ice cream stop in Wayne County, two teens aren't just the workers.  They're the bosses. They struggled to find summer jobs, so they created their own.

Serving up the soft serve is the easy part of the summer job for Jenny Carey and Mike Gombita. The two have to order all the supplies to make all those cones possible. They're doing the budgeting, marketing, accounting and more.

This is their business, Jenny and Mike's Soft Serve in Rileyville.

"One night at dinner, we're just sitting at dinner and said I think we should open an ice cream stand.  But it's nothing like a lemonade stand where you set everything up and say 'OK, lemonade for sale 25 cents.' You have to go through the paper work, the supplies and health inspection," said Mike Gombita.

Mike's mom owns a stand along Route 191 north of Honesdale.  There is parental support, but the Honesdale High School seniors are running the show.

"It's really cool.  We get to learn the basic stuff of business, supplies, the basics of money handling money."

"We've learned so much more than just going to work, so much behind the scenes that you've never seen before," said Jenny Carey.

Of course, the teens are using Facebook to advertise.

Mike's little brother Philip also helps, dressing up as a cone.  He showed us the dance he does to draw in business.

"This is just crazy. It's fun and hard all at the same time."

Jenny and Mike are learning a lot about business this summer but there is a perk too, and that is the ice cream.

"It's very fun, we've had some fun times," Jenny said.

But they've learned business can be stressful, especially juggling the demands of just being teenagers.

"There are some crazy moments when we yell at each other but everyone does that," Jenny added.

"It hasn't hit us yet," Mike added. "But once we actually get started with the busy stuff and going back to school and have all these camps we have to do for cheerleading, basketball or soccer.  Then we'll be like 'oh, we have to do this every day.'"

Jenny and Mike's Soft Serve is open from 3 to 9 p.m. every day but Monday.

Of course, they may have to adjust that schedule when they go back to school for their senior year.