Q&A WITH COOL SNACK SHOP ICED CUBE
Opening a raspa and snack stand was done on a lark. Iced Cube owners Ashley Vasquez and Jonathan Segura wanted to do something small “on the side” that maybe their friends and family would frequent in their hometown of Elsa. Then a funny thing happened on the way to making a profit: their business blew up. Thirsty customers overran their little snack shack waiting for hours in line and causing traffic jams.
Iced Cube went viral becoming an Instagram and Facebook hit with thousands of followers. Part of its success came from infusing the snack stand with pop culture and rap stars. They’ve named raspas after rappers and painted them all over the shop’s walls. Vasquez and Segura were after a certain demographic.
The twenty-something couple recently expanded to Mission’s Sharyland area (E. Griffin Parkway & Taylor Rd) with a new location, and we can’t get enough. Vasquez said business is booming and Mission is treating them well. We give Iced Cubed a rating of five hot Cheetos drenched in Chamoy! Welcome to Mission Iced Cube. Here are some questions we asked Vasquez.
Q: What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
A: My advice would be to start small. Don’t invest large amounts of money, before securing yourself a steady clientele. There’s no shame in starting from home, or in a “starter” location. Save the “presentation factor” for your product, and not so much the venue.
Q: What qualities does a young business owner need?
A: There really is no special formula. You just have to work really hard, stay innovative and quick on your toes, AND NEVER GET COMFORTABLE with your sales. Every day is a new day in the business world. One day you can have an endless amount of customers, and the next zero. There really is no guarantee, and it’s up to us as business owners to keep our momentum alive. We didn’t know what to expect here in Mission. I didn’t know too much about the City of Mission, but everyone has been very welcoming from the city inspectors to the owner of this shopping plaza. This was such a big jump for us, but we feel good about it.
Q: What role has technology played in your business?
A: Iced Cube is a huge example of how social media can scale a small business. We started in a tiny shack in our hometown. We were only prepared to service Edcouch-Elsa residents. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to serve people throughout the entire RGV. Our key social media outlet was Twitter, but we use all social media outlets daily to stay connected to our customers. Sometimes I ask people “What flavor do you want?” and they say, “I don’t care, I just want to put it on Snapchat.”
Q: What has been your toughest day-to-day challenge as a small business owner?
A: I would say leading and preparing a team of people to represent our company and ourselves is in it of itself a challenge. Employees and customer service is a huge part of a small business. No matter what type of day you’re having, you have to always remain a leader, and lead your team to an overall great experience for your customers.
Q: What’s next for you and your business?
A: We plan on opening our third location by this summer. And we are in the works of getting a food truck hopefully by spring.