Young snowball stand operator in finals for statewide honor

Staff Report

Zein Clayton has two years before he finishes high school, yet he operates a business that has drawn a lot of attention in a relatively short time.

Jamyah Banks, Makayla Thibodeaux and Meltdown Snoballs owner/founder Zein Clayton stay busy around the clock with the snowball business, which is among the last four in a contest to determine the best snowball stand in the state as part of a poll by LouisianaWeekend.com.

The son of Dante’ and Amy Clayton owns Meltdown Snoball Stand in Brusly, which has drawn high praise in a statewide competition.

Meltdown is among the four finalists for the best snowball in Louisiana as part of an online vote conducted by LouisianaWeekend.com, which is associated with WAFB Ch. 9 and other Gray Media TV stations statewide.

At 16, he approaches contest – and the business as a whole – with a zest more commonly found in veteran entrepreneurs.

“I took on this plan during the quarantine because it seemed like fun, and I knew it would do well in this area,” he said. “I watched some YouTube videos on how to operate a snowball stand, and that got me started.”

It wasn’t his first foray in the snowball business. He helped with Mae’s Snowballs, which his grandmother operated in Port Allen, and he spent time in golf cart business.

But The Meltdown has been his best experience in business thus far. Aside from the snowballs, he has expanded to include chili dogs and ice cream.  

Shown at Meltdown Snoballs in Brusly are owner/founder Zein Clayton, Lexi Megana, Makayla Bolton, Makayla Thibodeaux, Jamyah Banks and Patrick Gales.

His crew also includes employees Lexi Magana, Makayla Thibodeaux, Makayla Bolton, Patrick Gales and Jamya Banks, along with the help of marketing manager Jasmine Keaton. It’s a steady flow of work and customers from open to close, he said.

“It gets hectic, and sometimes kind of loud, but at the end of the day we all know we enjoy this,” Zein said.

Zein may even continue the work once school starts. He juggled work and the class schedule in spring when he did his four hours of academics and operated the business.

The success with the snowball business stems from a time-honored approach.

“I’m trying to make sure I give the customers the best product they can find,” Zein said. It’s the customers and my team that keep Meltdown Snoballs possible.”