#WyoStrong stories, brought to you by Pinnacle Bank of Wyoming, highlight Wyoming perseverance, ingenuity, creativity and resilience.
(Gillette, Wyo.) There's a horse trailer parked on Lakeway Road most afternoons, painted with the words "Mahalo" "Ohana" and "Aloha."
"The Drift" is a shaved ice business started by two local teenagers, sisters Nora and Avery Foster, who are 13 and 15, respectively. We wanted to know what gave them the idea to start a shave ice cart in Gillette.
"We moved here from Utah a little more than two years ago, and they have a bunch of these little stands down there that sell shaved ice, and we really missed it when we came here," explained Avery. "So we decided to start one."
Their flavor menu consists of some of the basics, like cherry, strawberry, and watermelon. But there are some not-so-usual ones, like pina colada and "tigers blood." For $3, you can get up to three flavors in one bowl.
If you haven't been to it yet, you'll see the sisters are serious about their shaved ice. They researched for the best type of machine to produce ice shavings, looked on Pinterest for the best ways to rehab a used horse trailer, and created their own specials menu.
Their specials -- Wyoming Sunrise, Camelicious, Big Wonderful Wyo -- are a mixture of trial-and-error, combining different syrups to try and find a good combination. When they hit upon a winner, sometimes the names are accidental, like "The Theresa": named after a friend who liked the coconut-peach combination during a taste test.
There's one flavor that Nora says she didn't want to start a shaved ice cart without.
"It's fuzzy navel. In Utah they have a shave ice that has that in it, and that's my favorite. So I said if we start a shave ice cart we have to have fuzzy navel or I'm not doing it," she laughed.
At first they thought it would be something they'd just take to events, like the fair and the rodeo. But their friends at Wyoming Work Warehouse volunteered their parking lot for the girls to be "out somewhere" all the time -- and they've been busy ever since. The idea for converting an old horse trailer was a little bit of ingenuity, too.
"In Europe, like in London, they use the horse carts a lot to make their food carts," said Avery.
"We bought [our first machine] from friends that live in Hawaii," added Nora.
The rest of the supplies they got online. Ultimately their grandfather help them put together the shaved ice stand that they operate Monday through Saturday. This week they've got shortened hours so that they can take their cart to the Campbell County Fair at night. But the business has definitely kept them working all summer, their first summer selling in Gillette.
When asked what they plan to do with their profits, Avery says she's saving for a trip to Australia next summer. After that they're saving for college and other family trips they take.
When school starts back up soon, they plan to be here a few weeks, working after the school day ends, but that might not last for long. They both run cross country, so their after-school schedule will soon fill up.
Last week the girls were sick, and their mom volunteered to run the cart for a while. The girls say their parents help out a lot when they can. But they also have taken on three employees, friends of theirs that can take over working the stand while the Foster family goes on summer trips together.
You can check out the secret specials that are only available on their Facebook page, or grab yourself a Frequent Shaver Card (buy 10 get one free) by stopping by their cart when it's parked at 410 East Lakeway Road.
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