By Lindsay Seagraves/News Editor
For a scanty $2, customers at Tropical Paradise on Rainbow Drive can get a snow cone piled high with adds in such as sour spray and cream, and the chance to chat with two ambitious sisters, who are taking the family side-business to full-time status.
Both home from school for the summer, sisters Lora and Courtney Clayburn decided to follow in their father’s footsteps and open a snow cone business for extra summer cash.
“We’ve been open for almost two months. It gives us something fun to do without having to go somewhere else to get a job,” said sister Courtney.
Tropical Paradise came to mind when the sisters began thinking about summer jobs because they have watched their father make snow cones at Westbrook and Southside football games for many years.
“Our dad helped us out [with funding], when we first started and we reimbursed him back,” said Lora.
Their father, Chris Clayburn, said what surprised him the most was when his daughters asked him how much they should give back in tithes. “I thought, they’ve really got it figured out,” he said.
Courtney said her father helps out at the Tropical Paradise truck if their schedules become too busy.
Jacksonville State University student, ambassador and Phi Mu Fraternity member Lora said the business is perfect around her busy schedule. Courtney, however, just graduated Southside high school and uses it as an extra cash maker while she prepares to move to JSU in the fall.
“I’m majoring in nursing but plan to minor is business,” said Lora. “I want to keep this going for a while.”
Tropical Paradise has 32 total flavors – Lora’s favorite being pink lemonade and Courtney’s coconut crème pie. They said if a customer suggests a new flavor, they try to add it to the menu.
The pair said they hope to expand the business by purchasing a trailer to go to festivals and concerts around town.
Tropical Paradise is open Monday through Thursday from 12 until 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 12 until 10 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 until 8 p.m.
The sisters plan to close Tropical Paradise by October 1, where they plan to update the snow cone truck and re-open next April or May.