9-year-old juggling fourth grade and successful vending machine business

GOLDEN, Colo. – A fourth grader from Littleton is doing something many adults haven’t even achieved. He is running his own business.

Nine-year-old Joey Taylor is a math whiz, bookworm and jiu jitsu fanatic. He’s also founder and CEO of Joe’s Refreshments, LLC.

“I’ve always been interested in selling things and last year in third grade we did business plans,” he told FOX31.

It was his class project that inspired him to create his own vending machine business focused on healthy snack options for its customers.

“He said he wanted a vending machine so at first we’re like, OK. Vending machine. Great,” his dad George Taylor said.

Joey’s parents agreed to invest in the business with the expectation that their investment will be repaid. The business is registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and is expected to turn its first profits by 2020.

Shortly after opening the business, Joey landed a contract to operate three vending machines at the newly opened Origin Hotel at Red Rocks.

“This is definitely a first for me. Usually it’s your big-name vendors,” General Manager Charlie Smith said.

He says he has no regrets about having a partnership with a business run by an elementary school student.

Joey is in charge of choosing the products, purchasing them and filling the vending machines. He monitors the machines remotely through an app on his phone and is in charge of repairs when something breaks down.

He sets the prices for each item and even scouts out nearby convenience stores to make sure his price points are competitive.

“I have to have help from my parents sometimes and it’s kind of hard at some points,” Joey said.

His parents help him with little things like driving to and from the hotel to fill the machines and his dad has to fill the top shelf because Joey can’t reach it. Otherwise, all decisions Joey makes are final.

“He’s filing his own tax returns. It’s his business one hundred percent,” George said.

Joey says he plans on expanding his business to six vending machines soon. Once his parents’ investment is paid off, he wants to use most of the profits to save for college. He also wants to donate a portion of his earnings to charities like Children’s Hospital.

“If you’re the one that has thought about [a business idea] for a little bit and sometimes it comes back to you then consider it. It’s a great adventure,” he said.

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