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Take a Chill Pill

Bahama Buck's is making the big bucks with flavored ice.

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This story appears in the July 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Blake Buchanan guided the lawn mower down from the truck bed and mopped the sweat from his brow. At 8 a.m. it was already an oppressive 95 degrees in Lubbock, Texas. As he pushed the mower in neat, parallel lines across the lawn, his T-shirt grew heavy with wetness, and the grass clippings stuck to his ankles in itchy patches.

Compared to the physical rigors of owning his landscaping company, Blake saw opening the first Bahama Buck's Original Shaved Ice store in the summer of 1990 as a cushy way to earn some cash while studying finance at Texas Tech University. "I wanted anything to get out of the heat," says the 31-year-old. "Working inside an air-conditioned building and making snow sure sounded better than hard labor."

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