EDINA, Minn. (FOX 9) - He was barely 16 years old and stuck at home in the middle of a pandemic when Caden Fritz decided to start his own construction business. Two years later, he’s built a successful company with a growing reputation across the metro.
"I started off doing pressure washing thinking I’d make a few hundred bucks, and it slowly started growing bigger and bigger," said Fritz.
The recent Edina High School graduate managed to build his business while also earning his high school diploma and playing on the varsity lacrosse and hockey teams.
"Most people think high school kids can’t handle these type of jobs," he said. "I had to be the cheapest bidder at the start and I lost money on a lot of jobs to prove that we were a reputable company."
He estimates his team has completed over 500 jobs in their two years of business, specializing in custom decks.
He says at any given time, he has 30 to 50 workers on various jobs across the metro. Many of the people who work for him are his high school teammates.
"It's like LEGOs in real life," he said. "You get to build things and hang out with your friends."
The Edina hockey fans even made Fritz Construction part of the cheering section, showing the small business owner some love when he was on the ice.
"Before one of the games, one of my workers went to the office and took about 100 neon shirts and they all wore the shirts," he said. "One of the chants of the year was ‘Fritz Construction’ so it's kind of funny being on the ice and hearing that."
But the 18-year-old has had to learn the hard way that running a legitimate, licensed business is not child’s play, as he’s faced real-life challenges and consequences. Fritz says while his parents are supportive, they have never provided financial support and often worry that he’s doing too much.
"They’re kind of nervous that I’m an 18-year-old — barely an adult — that’s playing in the big leagues with real consequences," he said. "They think I should sleep more and just relax and be a kid."
But Fritz’s friends say this is how he’s always been — pursuing different ventures and launching businesses since he was a small kid.
This fall, Fritz will start at the University of St. Thomas, where he’s received a full scholarship to study entrepreneurship and criminal justice.