Mixing up a winning plan

Robert Chacon

Faced with close to three months of free time during summer vacation,

some teachers travel, others dive in to hobbies, and others spend

their time relaxing. Some even start their own businesses.

Joe Reed, a math and science teacher at John Muir Middle School,

along with the help of his brother-in-law, Mark Boring, started his

own business renting frozen drink machines.

Their venture, Mr. BrainFreeze, supplies customers with machines

that blend frozen drinks in a variety of flavors. The machines can be

used for children's parties, or with the addition of alcohol, can

keep the margaritas flowing at parties for adults.

Starting the business was less complicated than either Reed or

Boring imagined.

"We were at a party one night and someone had one of these

machines. I had always wanted to start a business and there was no

one we knew of that was doing this in Burbank," Reed said. Reed and

Boring bought their first machine early this summer for $2,500 from

Bunn, a provider of beverage equipment.

They tested the machine at home, and then set off to some charity

events to test their machine in public. The response they received

was unexpected.

Business has been so good, the business partners now have 10

machines and spend weekends delivering and picking up machines. The

work required by party hosts to run the machines is minimal. The only

work they have to do is add alcohol if they desire.

"We initially thought we would have to do some advertising, but

through word-of-mouth, people caught on quicker than we thought,"

Boring said.

For $179, Boring and Reed deliver the machines, fill them with

five gallons of mix, and pick up the machines the next day. Each

batch of mix makes about 80 drinks.

Flavors come in banana, strawberry, raspberry and watermelon.

Flavor mixes for parties for adults come in regular and strawberry

margarita, mudslides and hurricanes.

Boring and Reed are trying to contract with caterers, and Reed is

negotiating with Hilton Corp. to provide them with the machines

during some of its functions.

The business has been popular enough in this early stage that

Boring and Reed have also invested in a nacho machine. They might be

on their way to becoming a one-stop party supply business, Boring

said.

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