Someone You Should Know: 11-Year-Old Earns Cash By Operating Vending Machines

Someone You Should Know

One quarter at a time, Sophia Snustad is learning — and earning.

“I don’t know in profit, but maybe like two-fifty from how much I’ve collected,” she says.

That’s 250 dollars — all from candy machines that the 11-year-old has scattered across Bismarck. “One of them is at the [BSC] Career Academy. I have one here at Plato’s Closet, and one at Sweet Treats.”

It was Sophia’s dad Joe who planted the entrepreneurial seed. “We were at a flooring store and we saw a candy machine, and I said, ‘Sophie, you know someone owns this candy machine.'” he recalls. “She goes, ‘Ah!’ and started looking up what 100 quarters would be a month, or 200 quarters. Saw quickly how it could expand.”

“My dad put this thing on Facebook, that was asking like, a place they could put a candy machine, and that we could pay them about 10 percent of the money I make every month,” Sophia says.

Now, every few weeks, the sixth grader from St. Mary’s makes the rounds: collecting her quarters, replenishing her stock, and keeping the operation sparkling.

Oh! And: “You get to eat the candy when you refill the machines,” she says with a laugh.

But the occasional gumball isn’t the only fruit of Sophia’s labor. “I’m saving up for camps and stuff, and then I bought an Apple Watch and a Hydro Flask,” she says.

And her dad Joe says he’s proud that his daughter has already caught the business bug. “Try, fail, and adjust. Try something, fail, don’t give up!” he says. “If you put your mind to something, put some effort into it, there’s rewards at the end of it.”

“I feel good about it,” Sophia says, “and I’m glad that I chose to buy some candy machines.”

Sophia Snustad — an 11-year-old entrepreneur — is Someone You Should Know.

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