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Wou Student Scopps Herself A Job

MONMOUTH -- Meaghan Keffer had planned on enrolling in classes at Western Oregon University this summer. In order to do so, however, she was going to need a job.

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College sophomore Meaghan Keffer serves up a tasty ice cream cone to a waiting customer at Lil' Dipper in downtown Monmouth.

MONMOUTH -- Meaghan Keffer had planned on enrolling in classes at Western Oregon University this summer. In order to do so, however, she was going to need a job.

The 20-year-old art major said she figured she would probably be baby-sitting. Her parents had other ideas.

They bought her a business to run.

Christy and Jeff Keffer said they had seen the Lil' Dipper at 109 E. Main St. in downtown Monmouth advertised for sale on Craigslist and ended up purchasing it from Nick Baker and Scott Carter in mid-April.

"We weren't on the lookout for a business (for ourselves) when we saw it," Christy said. "But she needed a job, we saw it and that's how it happened."

Christy and Jeff live in the John Day area. As such, Meaghan handles all aspects of the operation with the help of a part-time employee.

On most days, she's up early, doing her banking first, then her homework. She goes to class at 10 a.m. before getting to the ice cream parlor at 2 p.m. In between customers, she catches up on assignments.

It might seem difficult to comprehend the notion of a college sophomore running her own business, Meaghan admitted.

"My friends were kind of shocked," she said. "My friends and I used to come in here to get ice cream ... and now the student who came in here owns it."

Christy assures that her daughter has plenty of training. Meaghan has worked since she was old enough in the consignment store and restaurant here parents have owned and operated over the years, Christy said.

"She's been a cashier, waited tables, pumped gas, dished ice cream," Christy said. "And done the dishes, of course."

Lil' Dipper will serve most of the same items it had previously, such as Cascade Glacier ice cream, smoothies, sundaes, "coffee blasters," and a banana split for $5.95 that's "huge," Meaghan said.

Meaghan said there's been some minor cosmetic changes to the interior of the shop and that she hopes to incorporate some of her artwork into the decor.

Meaghan, who wants to study photojournalism when she reaches graduate school, said she might have had to return to Eastern Oregon for the summer had she not taken over the ice cream parlor. Managing a business is time consuming, she admitted.

"But it's good for me," she added.

The Lil' Dipper is open from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week. For more information: 503-838-1485.

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