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Teen opens cool new business in Vandalia

The start of the summer season also marked the beginning of a new chapter for one young entrepreneur.

Ace Armstrong, 17, slings an assortment of shaved ice treats at Sno Biz of Vandalia.

Ace Armstrong poses with his Sno Biz at his location on 6th Street near Beauty Mark.

“I used to work at a Tropical Sno in Pana and I have always wanted to start a business,” Armstrong said. “I thought it would be a great idea to stick with what I knew.”

Armstrong said he started his search last July for a similar franchise and found Sno Biz online. Sno Biz has been in the cool treat business for more than 30 years with more than 2,000 dealers in 20-plus countries.

Sno Biz of Vandalia first opened for business last week next to Beauty Mark at 107 S 6th St. Armstrong has already secured a loyal clientele. The pop up business offers an assortment of sno cones, milkshakes, slushies, iced coffees and soda. While Armstrong said his favorite is Margarita, the local favorite seems to be Blue Raspberry.

“It tastes great, that’s for sure,” he said. “And I think it’s different, and it’s something that Vandalia doesn’t have.”

Rachel Denning and her daughter Hayley Pygott grab a couple sno cones. Pygott said it was her first time visiting Sno Biz and she really liked her treat.

Rachel Denning of Vandalia brought her daughter Hayley Pygott to Sno Biz on Memorial Day. While Denning had grabbed a sno cone earlier in the week, it was going to be the first for Pygott on her first few days off from school.

“It’s delicious and refreshing on a nice hot day,” Denning said. “I think it is is also in a great location.”

Armstrong said he would like the opportunity to expand his business.

The first week is going well,” he said. “If it keeps growing, I would love to keep going in other places where there aren’t any.”