Annie Park was traveling around Southeast Asia in 2019 when her mother called to alter her job. Her mother, Sarah, opened an ice cream store in Bethesda, Maryland, after getting restless of retirement. But she needed Annie’s aid to launch the store. Annie didn’t realize this call would start her financial success.
Annie Park Reluctant Start
Harvard graduate Annie Park originally had conflicting thoughts about her mother’s ice cream business. “”An ice cream shop?” she said after initially hearing the news, and she admitted as much to CNBC. “I wasn’t too thrilled about it,” she said.
Annie understood family and responsibility as her single mother’s only child and an immigrant. So she tried it.
Initially, their ice cream business idea was typical. As a pastime, Sarah Park made ice cream and tried various flavors. Sarah utilized fresh strawberries instead of strawberry flavoring, unlike conventional ice creams that employed artificial colors and tastes. This was game-changing.
Sweet Success of Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream
Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream, debuted in March 2019, was a hit. Customers lined up outside the business, forcing it to shut at 9:00 PM. And then, Annie Park said, “This is just out of the blue.”
Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream opened two stores in Washington DC and Potomac, Maryland, within a year. Annie joined the firm full-time instead of assisting for a few months. She manages 35 staff and earns $1.86 million (Rp 26 billion).
Annie Park made almost $230,000 (Rp 3.4 billion) in 2022. In addition to her $118,625 compensation, her mother and she shared $111,677 in second shop earnings.
Annie Park Trip from South Korea to America
Annie Park was born in Seoul. However, she and her mother moved to the US in 2000 when she was 9. Sarah moved to Maryland to improve her professional opportunities and avoid the social stigma of single moms working in Korea.
Sarah had between two and three jobs while also attending language classes. She just bought what she needed out of a frugal need. Sarah’s first lesson was that “things” can’t make her happy. She warned that although financial success is necessary, the pursuit of it is never-ending.
Annie studied and played the violin. She won scholarships and honors since her love of music never hindered her language skills.
Annie Park graduated from high school and obtained a bachelor’s degree in music and communication from Boston College in 2013. Teach for America hired her to teach ESL full-time in downtown Baltimore.
She received a free master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University via this program.
Annie, “I saw myself in a lot of my students,” “Many of them were immigrants or had non-English-speaking parents,” she said.
Challenges for Six Months
Not immediately successful was Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream. The firm took over six months to grow.
The Bethesda ice cream company makes about $1.1 million annually, while one branch earns nearly $767,000.
Sarah and Annie often fought in their early business cooperation. Never having worked together, they had to learn to get along.
“We now know who can do what,” Sarah added.
Annie oversees daily operations and staff while her mother develops new tastes and ensures quality.
The pair also has a plan. Instead of spending money on promotion, Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream distributed ice cream to nonprofits and local communities, which drew loyal consumers.
Annie started a program for high school kids who worked there. The program promotes loyalty and professional progress for all skill levels.
“We don’t hire outside shift supervisors,” she stated.
Annie Park wants to build additional ice cream stores with her mom. She wants to purchase a home. “I’m not sure if this sounds cliché, but I want to do it all,” she remarked.
Her past experiences had a “synergistic effect” on her, even though she never wanted to own an ice cream store. She spent time teaching kids, starting businesses, and working at Starbucks.
“I think one of the things that really shapes my existence today is that I thought all these life experiences were random, and I thought I was lost,” Annie said.
“It’s strange to look back and say that none of those experiences were a waste of time; I can bring them all together, and now it’s propelling me at Sarah’s Handmade,” she said.