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Lancaster County boy known as ‘Mr. Ice Cream Kid’ learns about business while on the job

Mr. Ice Cream Kid

Most students learn about business in the classroom, but you could say a young entrepreneur in Lancaster County is learning the cold, hard facts on the job.

Like most businesses, Bennett Dufrene’s has grown over the years. So has he – he was just 9 when he started selling ice cream.

The now 11-year-old saw a need to expand not just his customer base but his ride.

His dad custom-ordered one from overseas. It’s a mobility scooter with a built-in freezer.

Bennett loads up with ice cream treats that his family purchased and rolls out with the music you’d expect.

It all started with his very own business plan to become Mr. Ice Cream Kid.

“He literally had the hours. He had what he thought he was going to sell them for and what he thought it might cost for them. And they were nowhere near accurate, but it was amazing,” Bennett’s dad, Bernie Defrene, said.

Bennett accepts cash, credit, debit and Venmo and offers the treats to anyone who’ll buy. His customers are usually his neighbors in East Hempfield Township, but he’s even been booked for events.

The word is getting out through his Facebook, Instagram and TikTok accounts.

“I mean, I wouldn’t say famous. I would just say, like, a tad bit known,” Bennett said.

His goal is to raise money to pay for college, but he’s also been donating to charities along the way.

“Because my community gives to me, and I want to give back to my community,” he said.

Bennett is learning about how to make a change. He’s also learning about which products to order and how to price them competitively. They’re all ingredients it takes to run a successful business.

“There was definitely some price increases that were there, and so we had to adjust our prices accordingly on a couple of different products. But we did that together and he saw that and then we created the plan,” Bernie said.

Bennett originally wanted to be a meteorologist but now says he’d like to have an ice cream parlor – or at least an ice cream truck – one day.

As for how well his business is doing, his parents didn’t want to reveal how much his souped-up scooter cost but said they have already broken even.

By: Katelyn Smith

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