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Student entrepreneur Arnt runs Beach Nook

Owner and operator Jessica Arnt poses Wednesday at the Beach Nook in Worthington’s Centennial Park. Cameron Jenson/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — Though summer isn’t officially here, the Beach Nook on Lake Okabena is open for business.

Owner and operator Jessica Arnt recently completed her freshman year at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D. This is the beginning of her fourth summer working at the Beach Nook in Centennial Park.

Owning a business can be challenging, but she says that doing so as a college student is exceptionally unique.

“It’s definitely strange,” said Arnt, who opened The Beach Nook for the season Friday. “Everybody that hears about it is surprised, and some don’t believe me, but I definitely have a feeling of accomplishment.”

Her primary studies at college go right along with what she is doing at the Beach Nook.

“I’m majoring in communications and business, and international studies — and also Spanish,” she said.

Despite keeping up with her three majors, Arnt was able to travel to Chile for three weeks in January and Scotland for 10 days over spring break.

“It was really amazing, and I’m blessed to be going to Augustana,” she stated.

Going into her sophomore year, she already has another trip in mind.

“I’m hoping to go to Scotland for a whole semester next spring, so I’m trying to save my money for that,” said Arnt.

Arnt takes on a majority of the summer workload herself, but she says that her family is always happy to assist her.

“My parents have helped me a lot over the years to help my business succeed,” she said. “I’m also trying to train in my sister (Autumn), and now she is helping me out.”

In addition to selling ice cream, food and beverages, Arnt says that she has other responsibilities as well: “I clean the bathrooms, I rake the beach every night, and I pick up garbage around the area.”

Her responsibilities don’t end there — she also orders the food and keeps track of the Beach Nook’s finances.

As far as her future with the business goes, Arnt says that she’s not sure how long much longer she will stay in charge.

“This could be my last year, but I said that last year, too,” she said.

The Beach Nook is open seven days a week from noon to 9 p.m. through the beginning of September.