From Food Truck Owner to Storefront Owner in 1 Year
Join Tee Westbrook of Cool Girls Create and Maliyah B. of Rolled 4 Ever Ice Cream as they discuss tips on how to open a storefront. Maliyah B. is a food truck owner and just recently opened a physical location in Nashville, TN. She went straight from college to becoming a business owner while still working a fulltime job in scientific research. After one year of being a food truck owner, her and her partner were able to invest in a physical storefront.Topics for the conversation include:
Starting a business in the restaurant industry
Going from food truck to a physical location
Day in the life activities of a Storefront business owner
Entrepreneur tips for women
by Andria Williams
February 13, 2021
1:45 FROM BIOLOGY MAJOR TO ROLLED 4 EVER ICE CREAM OWNER
Maliyah first saw the idea of rolled ice cream on Instagram. It was a trending topic and she and a friend decided to try it on a trip to New York. They loved it! So much so, that they decided to open their own. At the time, there weren’t any rolled ice cream shops in Tennessee. Maliyah and her partner decided to start with a food truck because it was more of a hobby for them. Maliyah’s parents have a food truck, so it was slightly easier for them to get up and running.
The ladies began considering the idea of having a food truck their junior year of college. Once they graduated, they both got a job in their fields. Maliyah was doing Clinical Research for about 6 months before opening the food truck. Her friend had been working in HR for about 3 months. They opened Rolled 4 Ever Ice Cream food truck while still working their full time jobs. They did this for a year before they finally quit and got the storefront.
4:44 THINGS LEARNED/BALANCE
While we may all be eager to turn our side hustles into full time jobs, it’s important that we remember our current career may be the bridge we need to get us there.
Maliyah states they would not have been able to start Rolled 4 Ever Ice Cream without their full time jobs. It funded everything they needed. The ladies decided to go full time at the food truck because business was growing rapidly, and they wanted to be able to attend events and activities they were invited to.
Tee states she had a similar experience while transitioning from working for a company to working as a full time entrepreneur. She started with a vintage store in college. At the time, she was working in her field, but business was BOOMING! So she had to make a choice.
- Don’t purchase everything you think you need until you actually have the truck. You’ll be surprised how much money you can waste.
- Research what you need for your specific audience instead of just buying random inventory. Ex: If you’re starting a boutique, don’t purchase things you like. Find out what your targeted customers want.
9:30 THE SWITCH
Maliyah and her partner decided to move from food truck to storefront because their creative juices were overflowing. They had too many ideas for the truck. Food trucks require a limited menu because the idea is that it should be a quick process. They wanted to expand. One cool thing about their store now is that it has an artsy room so they can host parties and teach things. Their goal is to have field trips, bonding activities, etc. “Things you can’t do on a food truck”.
It only took these ladies one year after opening the food truck to get to their storefront. Although this may sound like it was easy-peasy, it wasn’t. “We got told no several times. We got told that we’re too young. We got so many ‘are you sures’ and LOIs (Letter of Intent). It’s basically what they give you before you get the lease or contract”.
Things were different for Tee. It took her about 4 years to make her transition because there were many things she wasn’t knowledgeable about and had to teach herself.
14:50 TIPS FOR YOUR STOREFRONT
“The times we are in, a storefront isn’t for everyone”.
Remember that most things are online. Food may be the only exception.
Do your research.
Don’t give up.
“Being young black female creatives, there are so many reasons for people to say no. But if God gave you the vision, believe you can go to the next level”.
18:20 DAY TO DAY LIFE AS A FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR
The only that is “day to day” in Maliyah’s schedule is waking up, praying, and working out. Other than that, no day is truly the same.
It’s important that you be strategic about your daily schedule. With so many moving paths to being a full time entrepreneur, it’s easy to get overwhelmed which leads to tasks not being completed. Hire people to help you do the work. You may be nervous about handing over your work for a number of reasons, but working with others will only benefit you and your business.
23:23 GROWING PAINS WHILE TRYING TO BALANCE
When you work a corporate job, everything s written out and straight forward. As an entrepreneur you have to do it all. Run the business and stay creative. Personal life things make you lose motivation to continue. Keeping self motivated.
Trust others to do the work. Our systems in place so when your day is off your business is still rolling.
26:42 TOP 3 TIPS
- DO NOT GIVE UP!
- Do your research.
- Don't fall into the trap of pursuing a business because you see someone else making money from it. “When you’re tired or stressed, if there’s no passion you won’t give it your all”.
Sometimes it can feel like you’re competing with a lot of people. Focus on your gift because that is what separates you from everyone else. Things that look like easy money aren’t good for you. You need something to keep you consistent. You need something to spark your drive.
Rolled 4 EVER ICE CREAM
1120 4th ave N suite 102, Nashville, TN