11 May EXPLORING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL FLIGHT – A&J’s Premium Ice Cream and Coffee House
From humble beginnings to a full-fledged company is the most expedient description for A&J’s Premium Ice-Cream and Coffee House! Founders – husband and wife team Anthony and June Henry are determined to reach the pinnacle of their entrepreneurial trek which began in 2017. “With a one-year old daughter coupled with a need to earn additional income, we both decided that getting into the ice-cream business was a definite source of income” said Anthony.
With June being a stay-at-home mom at the time, the couple immediately thought of retailing ice -cream, but with the entrepreneurial spirit embedded within, A&J’s was born! June insisted
having a persistent mindset and a sustainable vision, I was convinced that once we ventured into the ice-cream business we’d succeed.
As Anthony describes “we started off with four (4) containers of ice-cream made from our little recipes; we rented a car spot, a cooler and a table on April 13th, 2017 where we sold ice-cream from 10:00am to 10:00pm daily; on the first day we made $75.00.”
This may have been a valiant dose of inspiration as it propelled this power couple to continue shifting their entrepreneurial needle. Their clientele kept growing exponentially which resulted in the acquisition of a small refrigerator and a broad umbrella and this evolved in the creation of thirty-six (36) ice-cream flavors.
Married for six (6) years and with an unassailable thirst for success, the couple moved into their first shop in February 2018 equipped with a regular household freezer. In October 2018, they purchased their first commercial ice-cream maker. As Anthony puts it “before we were using a minimum of four (4) ice-cream pails where everything was mixed manually.” He hastened to add that their endeavors were purely by trial and error as no formal training was acquired.
Shell LiveWIRE Changed the Game!
According to the couple “Shell LiveWIRE entered our lives at a point when we were looking for ways to scale up our business as we didn’t have any major knowledge in this area and were unable to put systems in place .” The couple were also surprised at being successful in their application to the programme. Upon completion of the programme, they gained another success beneath their belt by occupying the third place in the Demo and Pitch Event in November 2020.
The couple felt proud to share major takeaways from the Shell LiveWIRE programme! “The session on branding and packaging was excellent as it contributed to the launch of a bigger and better A&J’s; the life coaches had a tremendous impact on our business as they listened carefully to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic” said Anthony.
High commendation was accorded to Market Movers, Mrs. Dale Laughlin and Ms. Judy McSween who all had a lasting and positive impact on the lives of the couple as well as their business.
A&J’s and Beyond!
Creating a sustainable brand in the ice-cream space is paramount to the eminence of and growth of A&J’s! “we’re currently in the process of re-launching – making A&J’s a better place for our customers ; this would include breakfast, pastas and sandwiches aimed at actualizing an ambience of family” said Anthony.
Located in Charlieville just over Monroe Road, A&J’s is at a tipping point of creating employment with a current complement of six (6) full-time employees. According to this power couple “within the next two (2) years our objective is to solidify the A&J brand which has now become a household name; wholesaling our ice-cream is another high agenda item.”
Anthony and June had an important message for other young entrepreneurs and married couples “make time for family, put God first and once you put your heads together MAGIC HAPPENS!
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Shell LiveWIRE is Shell’s global flagship social investment Enterprise Development programme, with a vision to strengthen local economies by promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and meaningful employment. Since inception in Scotland in 1982, the programme is facilitated in over 15 countries and supports thousands of entrepreneurs willing to transition their bright ideas into sustainable businesses. Download the Shell LiveWIRE Deal Book.