BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY (WDKY-TV)– A banner outside Thomas Nelson High School encourages students to “Achieve the Impossible.”
Parked nearby is the improbable– an ice cream truck owned and operated by a young man who got into business at the age of 14.
“When I came up with the idea of an ice cream truck, my mom said ‘Well, how you gonna do that? My dad was ‘I don’t know if you can do that.’ I was like, ‘We just gotta get at it,'” said Benjamin Williams, owner of Ben’s Jammin’ Ice Cream Truck.
When Ben, who’s now 16, puts wheels in motion, things get done. As a member of Future Farmers of America, he decided he wanted to help Kentucky’s struggling dairy farmers.
“I was like, ‘well I’ve had my fair share of manure scooping, so I want to lean toward business.'”
When Ben bought the truck two years ago, he wasn’t old enough to drive it and it certainly didn’t look like anything you would want to serve food out of.
He found the 1989 panel truck in a junkyard and nabbed it for a thousand dollars.
He said, “It’s aluminum, so it didn’t rust, but it did have a lot of mold on the truck. It took eight hours, a lot of bleach and other sanitizing (to make it presentable).”
Ben was able to get a $10,000 loan from a local bank to buy freezers and get the truck decorated, and he learned a lot about health department regulations and business licenses in the process.
“Nothing is impossible. It just takes a lot of hard work and elbow grease,” he said.
Now, Ben’s Jammin’ Ice Cream Truck is seen at events all over Nelson and surrounding counties.
“Everywhere I go, somebody says ‘Hey, that’s the ice cream man.’ I think it’s pretty cool.”
All of the ice cream is Kentucky-made at Chaney’s Dairy Barn in Bowling Green.
Just weeks ago, Ben paid off that loan and is now scooping up profits, saving money for college. He wants to get a master’s degree in business administration either at the University of Kentucky or Western Kentucky University. His teachers aren’t surprised.
Lori Ahmadi, his English teacher, said: “Ben is going to take over the world someday and leave the world a better place. If all the youth were like him, I’d be so happy with the way the world is going to turn out.”
Ben got his driver’s license in August, so now his mom doesn’t have to drive the truck. In every way, he’s the owner and operator with an early start on the road to success.