When 14-year-old Grayson Albers needed a partner to help him sell his homemade lemon sorbet and gelato, he turned to Northwest Federal Credit Union.
The $2.5 billion cooperative in Herndon, Va., said Albers was the youngest to ever apply for a business account at Northwest Federal.
Albers’ dreams of becoming a business owner began with the idea of selling lemon sorbet at his sister Gretchen’s lemonade stand, according to the credit union.
A year and a half 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.
Albers' family has been members of Northwest Federal for a long time, according to Grayson’s mom, Marty Albers.
“We’ve had a good experience with them over the years, and knew they would be the right fit,” she said.
After studying Northwest Federal’s website thoroughly, Albers was prepared when he came to the Leesburg branch including having all of his completed paperwork and the required documents from the IRS and the state of Virginia, according to the credit union.
“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, branch manager at Northwest Federal’s Leesburg branch. “We are very excited to help out such a young entrepreneur and to watch his business continue to succeed.”
With his parents signing as joint account holders, Albers became the youngest business owner in the history of Northwest Federal to open a business account, the credit union said.
Albers set up a basic business checking account, which comes with no monthly maintenance fee. Northwest Federal said the account is designed to help companies like GG’s Frozen Treats keep more of the money they earn and lets businesses scan and make deposits remotely from their offices or homes – an important feature for Albers, since he isn’t old enough to drive.
Since launching GG’s Frozen Treats, Albers said he has learned the value of having a good support team. In addition to local restaurants adding the product to its 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’s financial services and advice.
He also learned one key business lesson, which is having a good product in the first place.
“We make everything in small batches,” Albers said. “It’s homemade, made fresh, with fresh ingredients.”
While the business is a family affair, with Albers’ mom doing the cooking, his sister serving as the taste tester, and everyone helping with kitchen clean up, his main role is managing the business aspects.
“I keep track of sales, expenses and taxes,” he said.