Business grew from ‘watermelon seeds’
What first started as a way for Kylie Warren to raise money to attend Mississippi State University has turned into a full-fledged family business.
“It came to be known as the ‘Watermelon Scholarship’ when word got around that I was raising money from selling watermelons to attend MSU,” said Kylie Warren, owner of Kylie Melons.
Warren raised enough money to go to MSU after selling watermelons out of the back of his truck, and over the next nine years, business kept growing until he and his parents were able to open a market in Canton called Kylie Melons.
“We opened this market here on May 1 of last year,” Warren said. “We fixed up this building, which used to be an old liquor store, and sell all kinds of things, such as tomatoes, peaches, plums, peas, boiled peanuts that my brother Zack makes, and of course, watermelons.”
Warren said he never would’ve been able to make this business happen without help from his parents.
“This wouldn’t be possible without my folks,” he said. “They opened the doors for not just me, but for all of us here,” he said. “I’m so thankful to them and God for this opportunity.”
Eddie Warren, co-owner of Kylie Melons, praised Kylie’s efforts of turning the business into what it is today.
“Kylie has always been good with people. He’s always been a leader and loves the Lord,” Warren said. “He took the ball and ran with it when it came to making this business succeed.”
Warren said he’s thankful to the community for spreading the word.
“We’re so thankful to people for getting the word out. We’re having a great time, and the Lord has truly blessed us,” he said. “It’s all about taking what you’ve been given and asking him to bless it.”
Warren feels that the best part of this line of work is getting to see people from all around the area and visit with them.
“Just come see us, let us meet you and be friends with you,” he said. “Come make yourself at home.”
A long-time buyer from Kylie Melons, Bridget Smith-Vaniz, said the accommodations of Kylie Melons is what keeps her coming back again and again.
“You are missing out if you don’t stop by. This is a pure family business,” she said. “Canton is a fun little town and the people are so friendly…this store is no exception.”
Kylie’s mother, Kathi Warren, is also a co-owner of the business and said Kylie makes the atmosphere a lot more fun for everyone.
“Kylie is the face of this business. A lot of people come out here just to see him and talk to him,” she said. “It’s his personality. He’s a natural-born people person and leader.”
Warren’s favorite part of working for this business is getting to interact with the community.
“Getting to meet people is what I enjoy most about this,” she said. “Seeing people leave here after having a great time is a good feeling.”
Kylie Melons is located on 1215 East Peace Street in Canton. Visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/kyliemelons