Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jimmy Anderson, Co-Owner of Sweet Aloha Ice Cream, located in Davie, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are Sweet Aloha Ice Cream, a tropical-inspired premium ice cream company that also hosts our famous SoCal brand Haole Boys Shave Ice. Our customers consist of families with children and adults young and old who desire to experience the authentic Hawaiian shave ice experience.
Tell us about yourself
I've been an entrepreneur since 1998, when I moonlighted as a DJ while serving abroad in the United State Air Force. Later, after moving to Los Angeles, I started a print company that offered one of the first online print-order fulfillment worldwide. My outgoing and friendly character has always made it easy to connect with others, especially networking, but helping others has always been one of my defining characteristics since middle school.
We started Haole Boys Shave Ice in Huntington Beach, CA, in 2014 with the sole intent of developing a business model based on spreading the aloha spirit and bringing smiles to customers across Southern California. In 2021, we relocated to South Florida. We started developing our ice cream recipes leaving the Haole Boys Shave Ice business to two of our best employees to run for one year as we consulted and coached them. Within six months, we decided to open the Sweet Aloha Ice Cream brand, a one-of-a-kind tropical ice cream, and authentic Hawaiian shave ice concept, with a retail location in Davie, FL.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been developing new concepts and brands from an initial idea into a profitable and well-branded business and popular consumer brand in several local markets.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The most difficult challenge to overcome as a business owner is anxiousness and maintaining patience. Often, our greatest successes are immediately preceded by our greatest failures. We must learn to trust the process and know everything has its time and place.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Develop a business plan based on research, objective, and sound data. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Know your strengths, but know your weaknesses better and work to turn them into strengths. This will solidify your business opportunity and potential in the market.
- Expect, acknowledge and welcome constructive criticism from your potential customers and/or target market. If you listen carefully enough, they will tell you how important it is to them and what they are willing to pay for.
- Whether you develop positive or negative relationships with your customers, you'll gain loyalty for a lifetime. Remember, every customer wants a good experience, and it is up to you to provide that experience.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Starting a business is one of the most difficult tasks you could commit yourself to. For one, if you're developing a new concept, you must plan for the worst-case scenario and hope for the best. Often, planning for the worst-case scenario will manage our expectations, and we can always see the light at the end of the tunnel when the business continues to grow and become more profitable.
Lastly, whichever you choose to focus on, success or failure the most, you will surely succeed in acquiring. Therefore, focus on success and constantly envision your success, and you will eventually acquire it.
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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