Teen with Down syndrome becomes youngest business owner in his town

Even on a crisp, winter day in Sanger, Texas, all Blake Pyron wants to talk about are his snow cones. “Banana, green, root beer,” he says, listing off flavors.

Blake and his neighbor Tanner practice making snow cones. (Photo via Blake's Snow Shack Facebook page)
Blake and his neighbor Tanner practice making snow cones. (Photo via Facebook)

The icy, sweet treats may simply be symbols of summer to you and me. But they mean so very much more to the 19-year-old with Down syndrome.

“We have high expectations for Blake,” said his mother, Mary Ann.

Mary Ann Pyron says her son is about to become the youngest business owner in Sanger, and possibly the only business owner in Texas with Down syndrome. She says city council will give final approval on Feb. 1 for him to open Blake’s Snow Shack.

It will be a stark contrast to the news doctors delivered to the family that very same day 20 years ago, when Blake was born.

“In the hospital they were like, ‘Well, he might be able to walk, he might be able to talk,’” Mary Ann recalled. “They didn’t give us much hope for Blake’s plans. But we had faith.”

Blake is officially the president of the company. His parents are co-owners. And 15-year-old neighbor Tanner Maples is his employee. “Whatever he needs, I’ll help him with,” Maples said.

[h/t USA Today’s Humankind, where you can read the full story.]

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