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Joey’s Custard helps island Girl Scouts earn Business Owners badge

By Staff | May 15, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED Joey’s Custard welcomed nine Girl Scouts on May 12. They are, from left, front row, Kate Sawicki, Emalee Peach, Lily Brennan and Alana Vandenbrink; and middle row, Sophie Allen, Molly Dunn, Marit Foster, Mimi Howard and Addison Sprecher. Also pictured are Erik Howell, shop owner Joey Almeida and Luke Czaster.

Joey’s Custard on Sanibel welcomed nine girls from Sanibel-Captiva Girl Scout Troop 485 for an important life lesson in operating a business on May 12.

With the training provided, the girls earned their scouting Business Owners badge.

Co-owner Joey Almeida closed the shop for the morning in order to give undivided attention to the aspiring small business owners. He expressed delight in joining with the Scouts on the project.

“I am happiest when I am with the kids,” Almeida said. “I get to share what I know and, at the same time, watch the children grow. I love encouraging kids to be their best selves and to learn that they can have fun doing it.”

He began his business in 2016 at the age 23.

“Joey is a wonderful model for our scouts,” Scout Troop co-leader Chryss Allen said of choosing Joey’s Custard for the project. “He grew up on the island and went to The Sanibel School, just like our girls. He is young and successful, and Joey’s Custard is a popular hangout with our scouts.”

Started by Allen two years ago, the troop consists of fourth- and fifth-graders from the school.

“Inspiring our girls to be entrepreneurs is important,” she said. “They will understand the hard work and the rewards of small business ownership in this community.”

Volunteer Anna Howard, who was on hand to help, remarked on the values that scouting instills.

“The Girl Scouts teaches girls to help each other and to take pride in country and in service,” she said. “The organization pushes for environmental sustainability, which is so important to our island home.”

Debi Almeida, shop co-owner and Almeida’s mother, raised four children on the island.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to give back to the island,” she said. “Making a connection with the business community is important for these maturing children. They learn the behind-the-scenes work that can make or break a business.”

The girls began their morning by readying the shop as it opens for business each day. They learned about operating the various food preparation stations, including coffee, shakes and smoothies, cones, cups and scoops, sandwiches and breakfast. As a final project, each of the scouts prepared a sundae.

Volunteer Cindy Lopez grew up in the Girl Scouts.

“Nine years of scouting have helped me to pursue my professional goals with confidence. I am now studying to be a medical professional,” she said. “Scouting showed me that my dreams are attainable. It’s wonderful that Joey’s Custard is helping these girls along the path toward success.”

For information on the Girl Scouts, contact Allen at chryssallen@gmail.com.