Parents push all limits to make their children satisfied with what they do in life. Joel Wegener, a dad of two adult children Josh and Mary Kate with Down syndrome bought an ice-cream truck to ensure that his children are employed. To His satisfaction, the ice-cream business named ‘Special Neat Treats’ is doing tremendously well and has become a smasher in the community.
Joel was sure that his children will have a hard time finding a suitable job due to Down syndrome so he decided of buying the ice cream truck for them. He shared that when his daughter Mary completed a course for people with disabilities, she was sure of the thought that she wanted to work with her dad.
The ice-cream truck is much more than just an ice-cream business. Joel revealed that they started just by selling ice-creams but the bigger picture was that each time they went around selling ice-creams they found a family with learning difficulties and some special bond. For them, it was not just a business with a profit motive but a way to spread joy and happiness. He added, “It’s been an unbelievable journey.”
Concerned about improving his children’s health and social skills, Joel helped them with the financials of the business and assisted them to have fruitful conversations with the customers. He felt that along with teaching them skills, the business allowed him to work with his two kids and spend time with them. He shared that together the family has sold more than 5000 desserts during summer.
With the booming prosperity, his children also look forward to expanding the business shortly. Joel’s contribution to the business and towards grooming his children was a commendable thing. He shared that he taught his children how to handle personal and business money matters. Joel disclosed that SpongeBob popsicle is their bestseller so far.
Children with Down syndrome face a lot of difficulties doing things that normal people perform without any effort and this made Joel ponder over the fact that his children might encounter a difficult time getting a suitable and satisfying job. Joel wanted a solution to this problem and desired to be of some value for his kids. He wanted to make the world for them a normal place to live in.
To motivate his kids and to set an example for every parent out there to do something of value for their disabled children, Joel started the ice cream venture. He aimed to change the entire perspective of how people looked at kids with Down syndrome. He started the ice cream as a small step towards attaining his bigger goal of changing people’s perspectives.
When asked about his journey so far, Joel explained that it was not just an ice-cream business, it is so much more for him. Besides selling ice cream it’s a way to spread positivity and enthusiasm amongst people. He felt that ‘Special Neat Treats’ is the most suitable name for his work as there is nothing more special than what they have.
The ice-cream truck was also a way for him to motivate people to think outside the box and do something that would create value for their kids. He said, “No matter what your abilities are, there’s something you can do and spread joy and interact with people.”