Annie Park, a Seoul-born South Korean immigrant, has been making waves in the world of education since her arrival in the U.S. alongside her mother in 2000.
After graduating from Harvard University in 2016 with a master’s degree in education policy and management, Annie’s journey took an unexpected turn when her mother, Sarah, opened an ice cream shop in Bethesda, Maryland, in 2019.
Sarah wanted Park’s help opening the store and asked her to join her business. Park’s success story begins from there, reports CNBC.
“To be honest, at first I was like, ‘ice cream shop?'” said Park. “I wasn’t very excited about it. But it was never a question of whether I would help her,” Park added. “I think that comes from being an only daughter to a single mother in an immigrant family.”
In March 2019, they opened Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream, and within a year, they opened a second store in the D.C. area. They also plan to open a third location in Potomac, Maryland, in December 2023.
Sarah’s ice cream shop in Bethesda makes around $1.1 million in annual revenue. While the store in North Bethesda brings in around $767,000 a year.
It wasn’t long before Park became a full-time partner in her mother’s business. Sarah now has 35 employees and can make $1.86 million in annual revenue, CNBC reports.
In 2022, Park earned more than $230,000. Collecting a salary of $118,625, while her partnership in her mother’s business earned her $111,677.
“I think one of the things that has shaped where I am today is that I thought that all of these different life experiences were random, and I thought I was lost,” CNBC quoted Park saying.
Park handles day-to-day operations in the business, while her mother focuses on the quality control aspects of the company.
“We don’t hire shift supervisors from the outside,” Park said, adding that her policy is to promote from within the ranks of her staff.
While handling her expenses and investments wisely, in March 2023, Park put away $9,306 and has roughly $290,000 in total savings that she’s piled up since middle school. In addition, she has more than $157,000 in investments.
According to the report, Park looks forward to opening more ice cream shops with her mother, buying a house, and starting a family. “I’m not sure if this sounds clichéd, but I want to be able to do it all,” she said.
Produced in association with Benzinga