Can you give us a little background on how your business came to life?
ROYCE' is a well known brand in Japan and it was my absolute favorite chocolate growing up. It's something I always looked forward to enjoying during my trips to Japan. As I got older, I realized it wasn't possible to buy them in the United States so I asked the corporate headquarters if I could be their partner in the United States. They were not ready to go to the United States initially but when the time was right, they asked me to be their partner.
Which moment or experience (if you had to pick one) was the most impactful in turning your business into a reality?
The support I received from the corporate headquarters to start the business was definitely the key moment in turning the business into reality. It took someone to believe in me and give me a chance. I like to believe that their belief in me paid off as the business has grown and we just celebrated our 10th year anniversary.
What inspires you on an everyday basis?
I'm so grateful to work with a brand that makes people happy. I like to say I'm an entrepreneur that makes people happy one bite at a time. When we get feedback from our customers and they tell us how much they enjoyed our chocolates, it makes me day.
What does it mean to you being a small / minority business owner in New York City?
Being a small / minority business owner in NYC means you get to support other minorities in the process. I'm so proud that we have a 100% diverse management team who have become like family to me. We all work hard together and we get to celebrate in the success together too.
What does it mean to you when organizations like the Knicks and Chase support smaller local owned businesses like yourself? What does it mean to you to be a part of the Knicks & Chase Small Business Roster?
When you get to see your business name next to winning organizations like the Knicks and Chase, it gives you a great sense of accomplishment. It lets you know that all your hard work is paying off.
What important things do you think small business owners need to know before getting started?
Find something you believe in. Find something you love. It won't feel like a job, it'll be a part of you.
Can you speak to the importance of small business ownership in general?
Every business starts small but that doesn't prevent you from dreaming big. When you have the passion, dedication and the support of teams like the Knicks and Chase, you can grow to make your dreams come true. Small Business ownership is the American Dream.