Best friends Zachary Hoppe and Ryan Parson entered the business world this summer by selling camp firewood from a hand-built woodshed.
At 77 Biscay Road in Damariscotta, about five minutes down the road from Lake Pemaquid Campground, the 7-year-olds have found their way to success.
“So far, it’s been going really well,” said Zachary.
Jessica and Dennis Hoppe, Zachary’s parents and Ryan’s grandparents, helped the boys open over the Memorial Day weekend. They’ll stay open through Labor Day.
“Earlier in May, the boys helped Dennis split the wood into the correct size and length, lay the pieces out on tarps for drying, and wrap them into bundles,” said Jessica.
They gathered all of the wood from clear cutting and trimming around Dennis’s property, in the lot next to Dennis’s business, Quickturn Auto Repair & Towing and Midcoast Collision. Dennis helped the boys build a woodshed out of materials on hand.
“It didn’t cost us or the boys anything to put their business together, just a bit of time and labor,” said Jessica.
“We wanted to give the kids a real-world lesson in business and personal finance that they might not necessarily learn in school,” she added.
Dennis and Jessica, owner of Twin Village Taxi, said the boys have always been hard workers and adamant savers.
“I’ve spent about $75 my whole life,” said Zachary, most of which he earned through shoveling snow at Quick Turn, and helping outside with yard work.
Zachary wants to invest in an electric scooter and a side-by-side, also known as a utility task vehicle.
Ryan said, “I just want to save.”
In between their busy schedules, swimming, playing baseball, and spending time together at the playground, the boys find time to restock the shed twice a day.
“They’re always very excited to check their earnings and restock the stand,” said Jessica.
Jessica helps the boys deliver fresh bundles of firewood, but the boys prepare them and count their earnings.
“They’re both very responsible when it comes to saving their money and budgeting for themselves,” said Jessica.
Throughout rest of the summer the boys will continue to stock their shed for campers and watch their savings grow.