Molly Baker watched intently as Becky Hermes stacked scoops of chocolate ice cream onto a sugar cone, making sure they were straight and even.
Then Becky asked Molly to give it a try, and the rookie handled it like a pro.
“Perfect!” said Becky, 20, of Collinsville, a shift leader at Bobby’s Frozen Custard in Maryville.
It was Molly’s fourth day on the job. She already had learned how to make turtle sundaes, the house specialty, and a variety of concretes, such as the Grasshopper and Sandy’s Dandy.
“I was nervous the first day,” Molly said. “It was hectic and kind of intimidating. But it went well.”
That was until she pressed a pump a little too hard, causing chocolate to splatter all over her white shirt, pink bow tie and white apron.
“When I got home, my mom was like, ‘What happened?’” Molly said. “But we got it out, so it was all good.”
Working at an ice-cream stand is the quintessential summer job for teens, and Bobby’s is one of the most popular in the metro-east. Owner Bobby Kozyak gets many more applications than slots available.
“We look for kids with good communication skills,” he said. “And even though it’s sometimes hard to work around their schedules, we like them to be involved in activities, like sports and clubs, where they get social skills.”
Smiling also is important — more important than the appearance of cones and sundaes.
“I tell them, ‘Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, as long as it’s presentable,’” Bobby said. “I like things to have a little character.”
Molly, the daughter of Christina and Robert Baker, is a senior at Edwardsville High School.
Molly had never held a job before, except for dog-sitting. She was too busy with track, cross-country and National Honor Society.
“I wanted to pocket some money for college (at the University of Kansas) and just get some experience,” she said.
Molly learned the ice-cream stand was hiring through its Turtle Club, whose 11,000 members receive periodic email announcements.
“It’s a really fun atmosphere,” she said. “As a customer, I like the live music and the custard comes out fast. My first date was actually at Bobby’s.”