Local seventh grader Dreyton McDonald is getting life lessons flavored with watermelon, Blue Hawaii and Cotton Candy.
Dreyton,12, supported and mentored by his father, Dominic, has operated his own mobile snow cone sales business, Ice Ice Dreyton, for about three years.
Ice Ice Dreyton operates out of a 14-foot-by-8-foot trailer that is set up at local parks and events and sells snow cones in 20 flavors including Wedding Cake and Dreyton’s personal favorite, Dreamsicle.
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Dominic McDonald, a single dad, said the idea for the business was inspired by the “Donuts with Dads” program that has been held at some Marion County public schools.
He gave Dreyton a choice of running a donut or snow cone business.
“Dreyton’s the boss; (it’s) his show. I’m here to drive, start the generator, and anything else he needs me to do,” Dominic McDonald stated in a text.
Dreyton makes the icy treats using ice blocks (about 3 pounds each) made in advance by freezing water in plastic storage containers. He loads them into an electric “Southern Snow Machine,” made in New Orleans, that dispenses ice ready to add flavor and serve.
The manufacturer’s website states their machines will produce “fluffy snow” as opposed to conventional shaved ice. 
Dominic McDonald said the machine is “the best machine on the market.”
Customer service is a priority with the young entrepreneur. Dreyton said recently each customer’s sweet treat should be made just right and he has “learned to be more social.”
“Take your time” and do the task properly is one of the main lessons Dreyton said he has learned while operating the business.
Dad said there have been money management lessons as well.
“(Dreyton) has a business checking and savings account (and) (h)e puts a percentage away for supplies, his savings, and pays himself. (The) (l)ong term goal is to have a store front and two trailers. To obtain those, he would need $15,000 to $20,000 (and) (w)e have about $2,000 so far for that goal,” Dominic McDonald stated in a text.
Dreyton and his dad parked the Ice Ice Dreyton trailer at Brick City Adventure Park, a Marion County Parks and Recreation facility located in southeast Ocala, on Aug. 27 to serve customers during a meeting of Florida Elite Football & Cheerleading youth football teams that ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dreyton said he played with the Ocala Thunder “when he was younger” and now is playing basketball.
Dreyton’s business had a gross take of $675 during that event, which Dominic McDonald stated afterward was a good day.
Isiah and Destiny Blunt of Ocala stopped at Ice Ice Dreyton to get a snow cone during the game.
Isiah tried the watermelon flavor.
“These snow cones are good every time. This is definitely the place to get something cool,” Isiah Blunt said.
He said the youth businessman aspect of the operation is “beautiful.”
Javon, 10, a cornerback playing in the games, was one of many players lined up at the trailer seeking to cool down a bit from the summer heat with a sweet snow cone.
Dreyton said he’s accustomed to handling the rush of customers.
Isis and Warren Amon from the Tampa area stood in line at the Ice Ice Dreyton trailer to get a cool treat along with their children Ethan, 5, and Owen, 7. Warren Amon said Ice Ice Dreyton was “impressive” as a youth-run business.
Dominic McDonald operates The Massagelyfe service and he is a CNA at night. Dominic McDonald is also in a Practical Nursing program at Marion Technical College, and he has worked with the Marion County Children’s Alliance as a mentor for the S.K.I.P. (Supporting Kids, Involving Parents) program.
He has had to “step down” and now partners with the MCCA on special events since he started studies in the practical nursing program. 
Dominic McDonald explained his son’s name and the name of Dreyton’s business are in memory of his friend Dreyton Wilkerson, who died in 2006 at age 20.
Meanwhile, father said son is learning from the experience of operating a business.
“Dreyton is learning how to handle money. I’m 34 and I’m just learning, ” Dominic McDonald joked.


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