As a youth summer job, what could be better than working in an ice cream shop.
For Ana Stavast, however, it goes well beyond that. As operator of the Frozen North ice cream stand this summer, Stavast is responsible for her inventory, staff, payroll, regular work hours and the one-on-one relationships the business has with its customers.
The role has given her a wider perspective on the challenges of running a business.
Frozen North is owned by the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce, which, each year contracts a young, budding entrepreneur to make it their own for the summer.
Stavast has lived up to the challenge. By listening to customers and others Ana added Bubble Tea to the Frozen North product line this year.
It has been a big hit, initially selling out the entire stock just over a couple of days. To take advantage demand, she immediately ordered more inventory to better serve the local market.
She said sunny, hot weather brings out the ice cream lovers, but when it gets cooler and cloudier, Bubble Tea is the more popular item.
Stavast is no stranger to entrepreneurial enterprises. A couple of years ago, she launched her own line of lip balm “Lychak Acres Lip Balm.” She operates under the family business Lychak Acres producing the product at home using residual honeycombs from her parents’ bee hives.
When the lip balm proved popular in Smithers, she approached Nadina Community Futures to expand the business. With the help of a microloan she was able to purchase equipment and supplies that allowed her to supply Terrace, Telkwa Houston and Burns Lake as well.
“We love to see youth ventures succeed, and this young lady has proven to be a major success in the community,” Community Futures said.
– With files from Grant Harris