Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Charn Bak, Co-Founder of Boba x Ice Cream, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We craft a magical duo of super-premium Asian-inspired artisanal ice creams with the phenomenon of boba. We're the first boba ice cream brand to be offered in natural grocery chains. Our customers are anyone who loves ice cream, desserts, and boba, also known as bubble tea.

Tell us about yourself

My prior experience was in developing and owning hospitality and food & beverage retail concepts. After graduating from Cornell University, I spent over a decade in food and beverage, owning a restaurant and retail cafe concepts. Nevertheless, the past few years have been very challenging for many people dealing with the pandemic, discrimination, and hate crimes. I thought that building a company based around delivering happiness through food, music, and culture was important more than ever, and it was a great way to bring my prior experience to deliver this. Growing up as Asian-American, I appreciated both sides culturally, and Boba x Ice cream was built with the intention to promote and support Asian-American culture with foods I grew up enjoying.

I started forming the idea around Boba x Ice Cream during the pandemic and noticed that boba was on trending positively and gaining traction globally. While everyone was focused on beverages or a boba tea shop, I thought there was a big opportunity in the Ice Cream sector that hadn't seen much innovation recently. There were no ice cream brands really offering Asian-American-inspired flavors in grocery, so we wanted to change that with boba ice cream.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being able to introduce a new brand to a competitive market and not only being able to talk about the product. We talk about important issues like self-care, mental health, and social equality. Our mission as an ice cream brand is to deliver happiness and spread positivity by showcasing the cool and exciting things around Asian culture and creating a more connected society.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

There are challenges that come up on a weekly basis as a business owner and things that you need to overcome in all facets of the business. Developing a team that is aligned and that can help each other get to their goals both from an individual and team perspective is difficult, and as a new brand entering a competitive sector, you need to always think of unique ways to stand out. I admire anyone who is building their own business and going through the growing pains of a startup.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Be sure that your proof of concept will be accepted by the market or future customers. Make sure you have a route to distribution and a brand awareness plan lined up, whether it's a product, software, or service, and invest in your team ultimately. The team will be the most critical part of your startup as you try to grow your business and choose early partners that don't necessarily have the same skillset.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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