Posted in

This ‘Dude’ is Changing the Face of Ice Cream

lil ice cream dude

Beau Shell was only seven years old when he decided that he wanted his own ice cream business. The Georgia resident wanted to earn money for his family, his school’s missionary fund and college. After being very persistent, his parents got him his first ice cream cart for his eighth birthday. Shell named his cart the Firecracker and designed his own Lil’ Ice Cream Dude logo, eventually growing his Athens business into a trailer that his father customized.

He’s since worked hundreds of events throughout the community and was able to open his first brick-and-mortar ice cream shop, Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s Cool World Ice Cream Shop, on his 15th birthday in 2019. He says that what makes his ice cream shop special is that he has “a flavor for everyone.”

There are more than 40 flavors of ice cream and 10 flavors of Italian ice offered at Cool World in addition to custom ice cream sandwiches, pies and shakes. Shell is in the experimental stage of creating his own ice cream. So far he’s made vanilla, strawberry and Candyland, which contains Snickers, Milky Way, Heath Bar and Hershey’s Drops (his favorite flavor so far).

Shell’s mother, who taught business and marketing for 12 years at the local high school, helped him come up with the names of others such as Coolio Pies and Coolio Shakes. Both parents, in fact, help with the business and continue to be his biggest supporters.

candy jars at cool world

Shell is now a first year student at the University of Georgia, studying mechanical engineering. Luckily, he’s not far from his shop, which means he stops in as often as he can. He’s still very involved in managing the business and making his signature ice cream creations.

For a young guy, his list of achievements is long, including being named the 2018 Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But what he’s most proud of so far is being voted “Best Ice Cream Shop in Athens” in 2020 because it gave him hope that his business could survive anything, even a pandemic.

Shell’s favorite part of living and working in his hometown of Athens is that he knows all of his customers and loves the community.

In addition to creating Cool World, he also gives back, raising money for several organizations. Since he got the Firecracker cart, he’s raised $2,500 for his school’s missionary fund by donating 25% of profits earned at varsity football games.

original hand drawn logo

“I give back simply to help the community that continues to support and believe in me,” said Shell. “We are all better together.”

While he’s definitely busier with classes, he has no intention of leaving Cool World behind. Shell hopes to use what he learns about mechanical engineering to develop equipment and implement manufacturing processes that will further his business. He said ice cream will always be something that’s special to him and that he hopes to keep the shop in the family. Who else, after all, would be the face of Lil’ Dude?


Ashley Archambault

Ashley is a writer and teacher living in Florida. When she isn't reading or writing, you can find her in the kitchen experimenting with a new recipe, on the yoga mat in downward dog, or lost out in nature with her family.



Leave a Comment