Lil’ Ice Cream Dude Sweetens Athens

Beau Shell, 13, owner and CEO of Lil’ Ice Cream Dude, from Athens, Georgia, poses in front of his popsicle truck in, Athens, Georgia, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Beau serves ice cream in his truck to the sweet-toothed community of Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Elizabeth Milano,

ATHENS, Ga. – Beau Shell, 13, better known as Lil’ Ice Cream Dude, has made a name for himself in the sweet and creamy business world as the youngest entrepreneur in Athens, Georgia.

On his eighth birthday, Beau received a small makeshift ice cream cart. Five years later, he has obtained a registered business license to sell ice cream and successfully trademarked his company as “Lil’ Ice Cream Dude.” More recently, Beau upgraded to a popsicle truck, which he purchased himself with donations from his crowdfunding campaign along with a loan from BrandBank.

“I told my mom, ‘I want an ice cream business,’” Beau said. “And at first she didn’t really take me that serious, but after a lot of begging and pleading, I finally made her realize that I was serious about this…We bought a freezer and had a family friend…make a welding frame around it and [add] three tricycle wheels, so I could push cart it like that.”

The hashtag “#happinessisicecream” is prominently displayed on each Lil’ Ice Cream Dude cart, and it represents Beau’s mission to bring happiness to others through ice cream. He believes ice cream can remedy more than just the summertime heat, even to those who suffer from an illness.

Lil’ Ice Cream Dude joined forces with UGA Miracle, the university’s student-run philanthropic organization that benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), to help bring happiness to the Athens community. This partnership has personal meaning to the Shell family, who were welcomed with open arms into the Miracle Family when Beau got sick with pneumonia at age nine. Now that he is well, Beau gives back to this organization by donating 10 percent of his profits to Miracle and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“It just warms us, Beau being a Miracle child,” Vickie Shell said. “Just knowing that there are a group of young people out there who raise money for families like [us] with kids who are sick.”

Beau reinvests the remaining 90 percent of his profits back into his business to pay for equipment and keep his ice cream supply fully stocked for events. He has big plans for the coming year. He is expecting to release a children’s book before Christmas and open his own ice cream shop at the start of 2018.

Isaiah Wynn, 21, an offensive tackle on the University of Georgia football team, from St. Petersburg, Florida, enjoys a popsicle, courtesy of Beau Shell, 13, owner and CEO of Lil’ Cream Dude, from Athens, Georgia, Vickie Shell, 50, mother of Beau Shell, from Albany, Georgia, and Rick Shell, 52, father of Beau Shell, from Athens, Georgia, after practice on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, in Athens, Georgia. Wynn and his teammates lined up after an afternoon practice for a cold treat from Lil’ Ice Cream Dude. (Photo/Elizabeth Milano,

Below is an interview with the Lil’ Ice Cream Dude, Beau Shell and his mother, Vickie Shell. The two talk about the passion that is involved with their business and the new expansions for 2018.

Click below to learn about the upcoming release of Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s first children’s book, “The Coolest Birthday Ever.”

This line graph illustrates the income that Lil’ Ice Cream Dude has generated since the start of the business in 2012. His business has grown from just 3 events in 2012 that yielded a profit of $349 to 117 events and a total revenue of $41,400 in 2016. He has earned $34,000 so far this year. (Graph/Marielle Williams,


This bar graph quantifies Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s modes of storage and transport. Lil’ Ice Cream Dude began his business with a singular cart in 2012. In 2013, he added a trailer and freezer to carry his ice cream supply. As his business has grown so have his vehicles. Today, Lil’ Ice Cream Dude occupies six carts, five freezers, and two trailers. (Graph/Marielle Williams,


By: Marielle Williams, Elizabeth Milano & Eleanor Stubley

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