When Patricia and Steve Chen attended a Little Scoopsparty being held in honor of their daughter's friend's birthday, their daughter left with good memories, and they walked away with the desire to start their own business. They were so impressed by the make-your-own ice cream sundae station at the retro-style ice cream parlor that they immediately wanted to know how to get into the business of throwing their own unforgettable parties. "The kids had a great time," says Steve. "It was a totally different concept."
Eager to get started, Patricia quit her management job in May 2005, and they opened the doors to their 2,500-square-foot Little Scoops facility in Pleasantville, New York. Specializing in events for 2- to 12-year-olds, they organize 20- to 80-person parties and throw six to 14 parties a week. From food to decorations to outside entertainers, including magicians and face painters, the Chens arrange it all. Says Patricia, "The kids, the fun, the ice cream . . . that's the best combination."
The good news is that not all parties have to come to an end. The Chens, both 38, are looking into opening another location in Westchester, New York. And 2006 sales are expected to range between $200,000 and $260,000. Meanwhile, with 24 part-time employees and Steve still working his full-time engineering job, they've become masters of their own juggling act.