I hired Josh Juarez when he was a young man. He didn’t work for me long, but he was always a respectful and hard-working member of the team. He had to step away from Chick-fil-A due to commitments at school. Years later he put all of the training that he got at Chick-fil-A to work and started Josh’s Sno Shack. OK, maybe we didn’t have a lot to do with it… Here’s his story in his own words:
We started because I worked for a stand from age 15-17 and loved it. He shut his down and there were not really any good snow cone stands in the area. The two big reasons big reasons I started it though are as follows:
- I wanted to create a positive place for people to just go and hang out. I was 19 when I started it and I felt that there were not a lot of things to do in Tulsa for young people.
- I wanted to marry my high school sweet-heart and saw this as the means to provide and get us through college.
The plan was to get a “real job” after I graduated. Next year will be our 10th summer in business. We now have 4 locations, a Sno Truck, and a cart. In the beginning I would work all day every day. We now have 40 employees. It would not be an unusual thing to see people camped out for snow cones at the opening of the season or lines of 15-30 people. We have been recognized by just about every Tulsa news outlet as the best shaved ice in town.
Recently a grocery store chain purchased a number of other grocery stores in the area, including a location where we had one of our Shacks. So here is how it went down…
Early September I got asked to move my shack by October 6th for repaving. The initial conversation was with a district manager. I was fairly adamant about my concern and desire to get a new contract before I moved the building. She said they were too busy and to just try to contact them later in February. I asked if there was anything I could do to talk to the person making the decision and she told me to email her my information and what I was wanting and that she would forward it to the CEO. I did this and a couple weeks went by with no response. I randomly ran into someone who gave me the name of the guy who was in charge. I called Reasor’s corporate and left a couple messages. No response. I guessed the email and sent the guy an email. Later that day I got a call from the district manager. She said they were not interested. I pleaded but she couldn’t do anything. I called the guy in charge and he finally answered. He didn’t want to hear anything about it. I respectfully hung up. We posted the info on Facebook and closed (for what we thought was our last day) on October 4th. We asked people to write Reasor’s and request that we be allowed to stay. People went crazy and the support was insane. Monday afternoon I got a call from channel 2. They did the story and it aired Monday night at 10pm. Tuesday morning at 8am i got a call from the COO of Reasor’s. He said they wanted to figure something out. We had a contract by Thursday…
Most of the time when a large corporation does something like this, the little guy goes under without a sound. Josh took a different approach. His example teaches us the importance of reaching out for help and persevering. Great job, Josh!