June 16, 2020

“When are you going to open the store?”

Chaeban Ice Cream Store

This is a question we have been hearing a lot lately. The answer is, “likely sometime in August.”

Why are we not opening sooner? A few reasons:

  • Our online store and ice cream club has literally saved our business, but with this has come many challenges with deliveries and customer service. We want to stay focused on making this much better. We see it as a permanent part of our business going forward – a game changer for us – and we want to do it right before we take on the store re-opening.

  • There is a seven-storey apartment building going up next door to us and there’s a huge construction crane right beside our back door, making access to our parking lot a single lane. It is intimidating to say the least. There is also construction traffic complicating access to our shop almost every day. We can’t imagine people lining up in socially distanced fashion in this situation.

  • We are still considering how to run our store safely and economically. We know we will have to hire new serving staff, train them, and make major changes to everything. We want to see how rules for operation and people’s willingness to go out works for a while longer before we figure out our own plan. We support every other local company in their battle to make this stage work and pull through this. We have found a way to survive that does not require us to rush to open the store yet, and our new thing still needs work, so why risk spreading ourselves too thin?

“How are you doing?” This is another question we have been getting a lot and it warms our hearts. People really do want to see local companies like ours survive; they genuinely care and show it all the time.

The answer is, we are doing okay. We have brought back all our production staff, have hired three drivers and an IT Chaebanian, and we are making ice cream every day again. This gives us purpose and makes us feel useful.

Financially we have caught up on all our bills and have been able to pay ourselves a salary again. However, this time of year we should be putting money away, not just surviving. Winter, when we have traditionally relied mainly on walk in traffic to the store, can be painful and summer is what can make or break the year. Our hope for the future is that the traditional store revenue combined with our new online business will create the sustainable long-term business we have been dreaming of.

Thank you, Winnipeg, for helping us through this time, we are so very grateful for the support we have received. We can’t wait to see you in person… soon.

If you want to join the club click here 🙂

Zainab, Joseph, and Darryl