Harvard graduate opened ice cream store with her mommy, makes $230,000 a year

How a couple making $123,000 in North Bergen, NJ spends their money

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In 2019, Annie Park was backpacking in Southeast Asia when she got a call that altered her profession.

Her mom Sarah– a previous deli store owner– was tired with retirement and had actually chosen to open an ice cream store in Bethesda,Maryland But she required Park to assist for a couple of months to get the shop off the ground.

“To be honest, at first I was like, ‘ice cream shop?'” states Park, who had actually just recently finished from Harvard with a master’s degree in education policy and management. “I wasn’t very excited about it.”

But “it was never a question of was I going to help her or not,” statesPark “I think that comes from being an only daughter to a single mother in an immigrant family.”

Annie Park in Washington, D.C.

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The concept wasn’t a total surprise: Park’s mom made ice cream as a pastime, frequently try out brand-new taste mixes, like apricots and pistachios, or fresh cherries with increased water.

Unlike business ice cream that depend on food coloring and flavored syrups, Sarah just utilized natural components, like genuine strawberries rather of strawberry flavoring.

After months of preparation, the March 2019 opening of Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream was a smash success, with long lines of consumers lasting up until the shop closed at 9 p.m. “It was something none of us ever expected,” statesPark

Park and her mom had little time to commemorate opening day, as they were up till 3 a.m. making more ice cream prior to the shop opened once again the next early morning.

Within a year, Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream opened a 2nd shop in the D.C. location and presently has strategies to open a 3rd place in Potomac, Maryland, in December2023

Instead of assisting out for a couple of months, Park ended up being a full-time partner in business, which now has 35 staff members and generates $1.86 million in yearly earnings. In 2022, Park made simply over $230,000– an income of $118,625 and, as part of the collaboration with her mom, the benefit from the 2nd shop, which amounted to $111,677

Building a brand-new life in the U.S.

Park was born in Seoul, South Korea, and emigrated to the U.S. with her mom in 2000, when she was 9 years of ages. Moving to Maryland supplied much better task potential customers for Sarah, and likewise suggested she might prevent the preconception of being a working single mom, which is looked down on in South Korean culture, Park states.

Sarah worked 2 to 3 tasks while finding out a brand-new language, just investing cash on needs. “MyNo 1 lesson to Annie was product [wealth] does not offer you joy,” she states. “You need to make money to a certain point, but once you chase money, it never ends.”

Annie Park with her mom, Sarah.

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In the meantime, Park went to school and studied violin. With music, language wasn’t a barrier for Park, and she took pride in winning scholarships and awards. “It pushed me to work harder,” she states.

After high school, Park participated in Boston College, finishing with a bachelor’s degree in music and interactions in 2013.

From there, she accepted a position with Teach for America mentor ESL full-time in inner-cityBaltimore The program likewise enabled her to make a master’s degree in education totally free from Johns Hopkins University.

“I saw myself in a lot of my students,” statesPark “A lot of them were immigrants or had parents who didn’t speak English.”

Annie Park at Harvard.

Courtesy of Annie Park.

In 2015, she registered in a 1 year program at Harvard University to make a master’s in policy and management. And regardless of her background in education, she discovered herself gravitating towards entrepreneurial tasks on school.

Park finished from Harvard in 2016, however over the next couple of years, she understood she didn’t “like policy work at all.”

That’s when her mom called.

Running the ice cream store

Despite Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream effective grand opening, it took control of 6 months for business to end up being “a well-oiled machine,” Park states.

Now, the initial place in Bethesda generates almost $1.1 million in yearly earnings, while the more recent shop in North Bethesda has yearly earnings more detailed to $767,000

While Sarah explains her child as her “life companion,” the early days of business weren’t without dispute. They had actually never ever collaborated prior to and needed to find out how to fix disagreements.

“Now we realize who has the strength to do what,” states Sarah, explaining how their functions progressed. Park deals with everyday operations, such as staffing, while her mom concentrates on brand-new tastes and quality assurance.

Annie and Sarah Park at Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream in 2020.

Courtesy of Annie Park.

The set have actually likewise made a couple of uncommon relocations that assist them stand apart. For beginners, the shop has never ever had a marketing budget plan. Instead, Park and her mom contribute ice cream to regional nonprofits and neighborhood companies, which has actually drawn in faithful consumers in the Bethesda location.

Park likewise developed a management program for staff members, the majority of which remain in high school. The program motivates profession development for all ability levels and benefits commitment. “We don’t hire shift supervisors from the outside,” she states. Instead, her policy is to promote from within the ranks of her personnel.

Within a couple of months of opening the very first shop, Park understood business didn’t need to be restricted to simply “a mom-and-daughter shop.”

“It could be a series of ice cream shops,” she states. “I’m looking at Jeni’s, I’m looking at Ben and Jerry’s. They started somewhere.”

How she invests her cash

Here’s how Park invested her cash in March 2023.

  • Savings: $9,306 for a 3rd shop place
  • Housing and energies: $2,190 for her half of the lease; water and heat expenses
  • Discretionary expenditures: $1,495 for travel, home entertainment, home-cleaning services and family products
  • Food: $432 for groceries and dining establishments
  • Insurance: $286 for cars and truck and occupants
  • Transportation: $148 for ridesharing and gas
  • Subscriptions and subscriptions: $18 for Netflix and cloud storage

Rather than invest or invest the 2nd shop’s revenues, Park puts the money into cost savings, allocating a few of it to approach opening a 3rd place. In March 2023, she had the ability to put away $9,306 and has approximately $290,000 in overall cost savings that she’s developed because intermediate school.

Park likewise has simply over $157,000 in financial investments. She didn’t make any contributions in March, picking to concentrate on conserving up for the 3rd shop rather.

Park’s most significant month-to-month cost, aside from cost savings, is the $2,190 she invests in her two-bedroom apartment or condo in Washington, D.C., which she divides with her sweetheart.

Annie Park in the house.

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Travel is another big cost, as Park usually goes on trips in between December and March, when service at the ice cream stores is slower. Park and her mom went to Costa Rica in March, which represents $1,184 of Park’s discretionary expenditures for the month.

Park has $38,000 in trainee financial obligation, however with the payment freeze, she’s presently picking to put cash into the 3rd shop and her financial investments rather.

“I’m also a bit hopeful that loan forgiveness might kick in at any time,” she states. As a Pell Grant recipient, she might get approved for approximately $20,000 in trainee financial obligation relief, although the status of trainee loan forgiveness stays in limbo.

Looking ahead

Going forward, Park wishes to open more ice cream stores with her mom, purchase a home and, one day, begin a household.

“I’m not sure if this sounds cliché, but I want to be able to do it all,” she states.

While she never ever prepared to run an ice cream shop, all of her previous experiences had a “synergistic effect” on where she is now, from mentor youths to dealing with entrepreneurial tasks to even her high school task as a Starbucks barista.

Annie Park outside Sarah’s Handmade ice Cream in the North Bethesda, Maryland.

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“I think one of the things that has really shaped where I am today is that I thought that all of these different life experiences were random and I thought I was lost,” she states.

“It’s an unusual sensation of recalling and stating that none of those experiences were a wild-goose chase, I’ve had the ability to integrate it together and now it’s fueling [my work] at Sarah’s Handmade.”

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