Opening a sweet treat and shaved ice storefront is something that the Morin family has been talking about for several years.

On Wednesday, that dream became a reality when Alamo Ice opened adjacent to the family's popular barbecue restaurant, Straight from Texas Bar B Cue.

Now at the corner of the store, shaved ice, smoothies, iced sodas, blended coffees, and frozen drinks can be purchased to appease anyone's sweet tooth.

"We used to go to Carolina Beach, N.C. that had a shaved ice place we loved," explained owner Paul Morin. "We thought, 'It would be fun to have one of these or run one.'"

Just last year, Morin said the family was blessed enough to buy the whole building to expand their barbecue business, and with everything shutting down, the family saw the opportunity to open their shaved ice and treat shop.

However, it is not run by Paul and his wife, Mandy, like the barbecue store that conjoins it — but by their children.

"We had a long conversation with the kids, because we really wanted them to take ownership of the business," he explained.

With sports shutting down, leaving their kids with ample free time, the parents thought it would be a good venture to keep their children busy and teach about work ethic.

"...We really had a long conversation with them about, 'Is this something you guys would want to be a part of, but a huge part of?' We will guide you, we will finance it, but you are going to run this business," Morin said.

The opening of the Alamo Ice is an opportunity to teach his kids a lot about running a business including budgets, taking inventory, working with others, responsibilities and "getting up early when you don't want to get up early," he explained.

"The biggest thing is, if you have a person standing in front of you — how are you going to interact with those people? How do you get them to come back?" He questioned. "For us, we are Christians, so we want people to be able to see Christ through us."

He called the venture exciting, and said it was something the family was excited to do, together.

"I think the idea was awesome, and now they are understanding the sweat equity they are having to do," he laughed.

Although two of the Morin children are pulling their weight to help with the shop, their father said other kids and teens are able to pitch in with their time at the shop.

He said the little shop was staffed almost instantly with good kids, and friends of the family to make a good environment.

Right now, Alamo Ice is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

After the summer ends, Morin said, with having other products like coffee and smoothies, he will see how the fall sales go to determine if Alamo Ice will stay open all year round.

"Customers may not want something sweet, but coffee instead," he explained. "This gives more options and gives them a chance to have a few more items."

As far as the name, Alamo Ice, Morin said the family was just trying to stick with the theme.

"Here we would want to keep it Texas, and we are just trying to keep it that theme," he said.

Alamo Ice is located at 306 North Third Street in Richmond. People can be served inside or outside of through the window. Masks are required.

For more information, visit Alamo Ice's Facebook page at Alamo Ice.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.

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