Mr. Freeze Snowcones is small, but its bright paint and lighting  beckon to customers from a highly visible lot.

Young businessman Alex Martin finds he likes to make people smile

Jenna Atherton takes a rather complicated order as Alex Martin listens to the varied combinations of flavors and candy.

Alex Martin is sure of two things. He’s going to play college basketball. And wherever that takes him he’s going to keep running his latest business venture.

Alex started his first business, an auto detail shop on Joplin’s North Main Street, when he was just 14. That was going well, with Alex detailing vehicles for several dealers, including Newman Auto Sales in Webb City.

And then the Martin family moved to Olathe, Kan., to be closer to Kansas University, where Alex’s older brother, Cameron, transferred to play basketball. Cameron’s in his final year as a Jayhawk, but his family has moved back here.

Alex had a mobile detailing business in Olathe but was eager to try another line of business when he came back.

He says he’s motivated “just to keep busy and earn some runaround money. I don’t want to ask anyone for money.”

His latest venture is Mr. Freeze Snowcones. 


Alex Martin stirs flavors into the “snow.”

He found a used building for sale online, redid everything, purchased the snowcone equipment and flavors, and called on his former detailing customer, Jim Newman, to let him have a prime space near the busiest intersection in town.

Alex’s sisters, Skylar and Kim, have jobs but help him keep Mr. Freeze open from 1 to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

“They don’t even let me pay them,” says Alex. “They just come to help me out.”

His parents, Jeff and Mandi Martin, “are very proud of me because I went out and did it on my own.”

The thing Alex likes about Mr. Freeze, compared to detailing, is that snowcones make people happy. “I just like making people smile.”

Among those he made smile this week were the Little League players going to the Midwest Regional and 30 preschoolers.

Mr. Freeze regulars Chanley Wright and Jacee Divine check on their smart phones between snowcone slurps.