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Fort Wayne church opens new shaved ice business with a purpose – Fort Wayne’s NBC

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – The Ridge is starting up a new nonprofit business with a mission of raising money to help fund different projects and teach the next generation of business owners skills they will need in the workforce.

The business doesn’t have a name just yet, but it could be the perfect place for you to stop this summer.

Bryan White is leading the effort to sell as much shaved ice as he can along with his workers at The Ridge.

“For The Ridge, they really want to do neighborhood outreach, ” White said. “They really want the church to be more than just the four walls in the building.” 

On the surface, this may look like your typical summer business. However, the visions run deep. White is hoping to make a difference in the lives of the shop’s workers.

“I feel like I can really teach them about inventory, marketing and get them a good base,” White said. “I want to let them know that working can be fun, enjoyable and fruitful.”

The impact was quickly felt by Mallory Walker, who’s a junior in high school. She said this project has already put a smile on her face.

“It’s team building, I get to learn more about my team and work ethic,” Walker said. “I feel more self-efficient.” 

Walker says she knows projects like this can be a challenge. This isn’t the first time she and White have worked together to raise money. You may have seen them selling elephant ears out of a pop-up stand. White says the last year gave him new ideas for ways to make a bigger profit. 

“When I started with Crossview Church and our elephant ears business, they were just using the trailer six days a year,” White said. “With COVID last year and everything getting canceled, I saw the opportunity to take it out more.”

As this new business starts to make a difference in the lives of its workers, they’re all looking forward to what could be a positive long-term impact.

“Not only can we help our community, but also help with ourselves and help with our mission,” Walker said.

White says the business doesn’t have set hours yet.

To book either the elephant ear trailer or the shaved ice trailer, email White at [email protected].