Teen chases the American Dream

October 2021
Written By: 
Harold Rohrback
Photographs by: 
courtesy of Spencer’s Snowballs and Ice Cream

Local 17-year-old is making his dream come true in North Myrtle Beach with Spencer’s Snowball and Ice Cream stand.

Choosing a flavor may take time.

If Trent Spencer becomes a corporation and goes public, you may want to consider buying stock. The 17-year-old has been an entrepreneur since the age of 8, when he grew his own garden in his parent’s backyard and set up a vegetable stand in the front yard. He named his first venture Spencer’s Vegetable Stand and it was a financial success. What initially started out as a few vegetables to include tomatoes and cucumbers soon expanded into broccoli, corn, string beans and anything else he had room to grow. Spencer had been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and was anxiously dreaming of bigger and better things.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Spencer’s family moved to the Grand Strand when his sister, Kaitlyn, started attending Coastal Carolina University several years ago. He had saved money from the vegetable stand, but starting the kind of new business he envisioned would require more capital and Spencer wanted to finance the venture on his own. He used some of the saved money to purchase a machine that customizes cups, mugs and tumblers and began attending craft shows and vender fairs to generate business. At the same time, he was also working at River City Café as a host and saving every penny for the right opportunity to present itself. 

Spencer was convinced that a snowball business would be successful on the Grand Strand. He had seen how most of the stands sold either shaved ice or Italian Ice, both of which melt quickly in the sun.  So, he opened Spencer’s SnowBalls and Ice Cream in May.

(Left) A tropical-themed oasis; (Right) The rainbow is Spencer's most popular snowball.

As Spencer puts it, “Snowballs are thicker, crunchier and hold up better in the heat. Shaved ice is a powdery slush.” Spencer became aware of a small building for sale online that fit his needs and was within his budget. The location of the business was negotiated and formalized with his dad’s help signing the paperwork. All that was left to make the dream a reality was to purchase a snowball machine, ice cream freezer, and all of the other necessities and inventory needed to open the doors. Spencer knows that this didn’t happen on his efforts alone. “I’ve had great help and support from my family and the community to make this work,” says Spencer.

His future goal is to open a pub grub/sports type restaurant with a family atmosphere. If the past is any indication of the future, expect a Spencer’s Restaurant to be opening in the near future. For now, he will be attending online classes for high school, working the stand Tuesday–Saturday from Noon–10 p.m. and keeping an eye out for new locations along the beach. Spencer said he will stay open during the winter as long as customers keep coming to the stand.

Spencer’s Snowball and Ice Cream
1417 Hwy 17 S.
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
843 902-2288 or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SpencerSnowballsandIceCream/)