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Teen's Ice Cream Co Is Northwest FCU's Youngest Biz Account

HERNDON, Va. (5/7/13)--A 14-year-old with a neighborhood gelato and sorbet business is the youngest CEO to open a business account in the history of Northwest FCU.

Click to view larger image GG's Frozen Treats is a family business, with 14-year-old CEO Grayson Albers, his sister Gretchen and mother Mary each having a role. They are pictured with staff of the Leesburg branch of Herndon, Va.-based Northwest FCU, which provides the business account for GG's Frozen Treats. (Photo provided by Northwest FCU)

Grayson Albers, 14, started with the idea to sell lemon sorbet at his sister Gretchen's lemonade stand. A year later, GG's Frozen Treats had grown into a neighborhood hit, with a website, a menu of flavors, and shelf space at Ashburn Wine shop, Carolina Brothers BBQ and The Wine'ing Butcher.

When his company needed a financial partner, CEO Albers turned to Herndon, Va.-based Northwest FCU.

His family had been members of the $2.5 billion asset credit union for a long time, said Marty Albers, Grayson's mother. "We've had a good experience with them over the years, and knew they would be the right fit."

After studying Northwest Federal's website, Grayson arrived at the Leesburg branch with the completed paperwork and the required documents from the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Virginia. With his parents signing as joint account holders, he became the youngest business owner in Northwest Federal's history to open a business account.

With the credit union's help, Grayson set up a Basic Business Checking account, which comes with no monthly maintenance fee. Designed to help companies like GG's Frozen Treats keep more of the money they earn, it also lets businesses scan and make deposits remotely from their offices or homes--an important feature for Grayson, since he isn't old enough to drive.

While at the helm of his company, Grayson learned the value of having a good support team. In addition to local restaurants adding his product to their menus, the business receives help from a neighbor who is a lawyer, a local church that provides use of its commercial kitchen, and Northwest Federal, which offers financial services and advice.

Another key business lesson learned: You have to have a good product. "We make everything in small batches," Grayson said. "It's homemade, made fresh, with fresh ingredients."

The business is a family affair, with Mom doing the cooking, his sister serving as the taste tester, and everyone helping with kitchen cleanup. Grayson's key role is managing the business aspects. "I keep track of sales, expenses and taxes."

"It was clear that he had studied our products and services, and believed Northwest Federal would be a good financial partner for his business," said Sherry Henein, manager of its Leesburg branch, noting the credit union is excited "to help out such a young entrepreneur and to watch his business continue to succeed."

Fostering this kind of service is one of the three-pronged goals aligned with the Credit Union National Association's strategic vision for credit unions where "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner." For more information about the Unite for Good campaign toward this vision, use the link.

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