By: Marc Hammes
The Dilley Brothers Shave Ice is a family business that has continued to grow since joining the Monroe Farmers Market 3 years ago. When brothers,Jake and Levi Dilley, began Dilley Brothers Shave Ice, they were the youngest vendors at the market. As they’ve grown (now ages 15 and 14 respectively), their business has grown with them.
These young men got the idea of shave ice, when the family bought a snow cone machine for their own use. After the plastic machine broke, they got the idea of selling their own shave ice, and designing a line of natural syrup flavors. Levi makes the natural syrups, which are offered only at the Farmers Market, and made from market and local vendors. Jake and Levi usually have 12 flavors offered besides their natural flavors with Blue Raspberry being the most popular. However, Levi continues to experiment and create new flavors and combinations.
Jake is in charge of making the ice blocks that fit their machines, and keeping things running smoothly. They showed me the “Dilly Brothers Headquarters” with 3 freezers, and shave ice machines standing by. The brothers have expanded their rolling counters, as the business has grown; starting with a small 1 machine operation, and growing into a large counter with 2 machines to better serve their customers.
Even the counters were handmade by the Dilley brothers, at their father, Scott Dilley’s, shop, Made In Monroe. Their parents, Scott and Melanie Dilley, have encouraged the brothers, seeing this as a great educational experience in entrepreneurship.
These entrepreneurs have definitely succeeded with their shave ice at our Farmers Market, the Monroe First Friday concerts, Fall Fest, weddings and other events. They continue to learn as they look to expand their merchandising and branding beyond their popular shave ice treats and t-shirts. We all look forward to what Jake and Levi Dilley will bring to the market next!