Small Family Business Brings Flavored Sweet Teas to Red, White & BOOM!

Each year, a small family business from northeastern Ohio makes its way to downtown Columbus to bring their unique flavored sweet teas to the Red, White & BOOM! festival.

This event, known as the biggest fireworks show in the Midwest, draws around 400,000 visitors annually, providing a massive opportunity for small businesses like T’s Concessions to grow and reach new customers.

David Hoffman, who works at T’s Concessions, shared the humble beginnings of their family business. Owned by his mom and brother, T’s Concessions started as a small hot dog cart.

“On the back of a little homemade hot dog cart, we started selling at Four Seasons in Lisbon,” Hoffman recalled. “Then slowly, we just started building up from there.”

Over time, the business transitioned from selling hot dogs to offering a variety of sweet tea and lemonade flavors, including strawberry, peach, mango, and cherry. For the Red, White & BOOM! festival, they created a special raspberry-flavored red, white, and blue drink to celebrate the occasion.

Becoming a vendor at Red, White & BOOM! was a major milestone for T’s Concessions. This year marks their third year at the event, and it has been a learning experience each time. “I remember the first year,” Hoffman said.

“We were definitely not prepared for it because we were used to smaller events – Canfield Fair was the biggest thing we did before this, and then we came here and it’s just like, wow. There’s a lot of people here, lots and lots of people.”

The scale of Red, White & BOOM! can be overwhelming for a small business, but T’s Concessions has adapted well. The event’s massive turnout has provided invaluable exposure and experience. Hoffman mentioned that his favorite part of participating in the festival is “definitely the fireworks.”

“Being a worker here, you get a front row seat to all the fireworks, and it’s really nice,” Hoffman said. “And there’s always a lot of friendly people here.” This sense of community and the spectacular fireworks display make the long hours and hard work worthwhile for the Hoffman family.

T’s Concessions sets up their stand on Civic Center Drive, right along the Scioto River. This prime location ensures they attract a steady stream of festival-goers eager to try their refreshing drinks. The fireworks show, which starts at 10 p.m. and lasts about 25 minutes, is the highlight of the event, with the display being shot over the river from Genoa Park on the east side of COSI.

For the Hoffman family, participating in Red, White & BOOM! is not just about business; it’s about being part of a larger community celebration. Each year, they look forward to meeting new customers, seeing familiar faces, and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the festival. The experience has helped them grow their business and strengthen their family bonds.

As T’s Concessions continues to expand, the Hoffmans remain committed to their roots, always remembering where they started and the journey they’ve taken. Their story is a testament to the power of hard work, family support, and community engagement. And for those visiting Red, White & BOOM!, a stop at T’s Concessions is a chance to taste not just a delicious drink, but a piece of this inspiring journey.

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