What exactly is your business?
Cathy’s is a gourmet ice cream sandwich shop where we pair freshly baked cookies with classic ice cream flavors. We also offer a variety of offerings, such as churro ice cream sandwiches, scoops, milkshakes, sundaes, cookies, and beverages. In addition to our store operation, we enjoy catering events as well as attending vendor events around Cleveland.
How did you come up with your business idea?
While waiting on my bar exam results, I had spent tons more time baking and eating out. One day, I paired freshly baked cookies with ice cream at home and was amazed!
How did you find out about Aviatra?
Once I decided I wanted to pursue Cathy’s as a Cleveland staple, I knew I needed more business knowledge. Through internet research, I learned about the program, the course subjects, and network it maintained.
What is your inspiration?
My inspiration is serving and empowering others! Cathy’s is a place where you can custom build your own ice cream sandwich in an upbeat, fun place. I wanted it to be a classic atmosphere while channeling millennial vibes serving sweet and soft cookies with delicious ice cream plus tons of toppings to choose from.
What has been your biggest accomplishment with your business so far?
Tons of things I’m grateful for, but by far, I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my knowledge to inspire young women interested in business through our CathyCares program. We are partnered with a local high school where we have monthly meetings, speakers, and the ability to expose a group of ladies to entrepreneurship.
What was the most valuable thing you gained from your experience with Aviatra?
Network. Many of the women I met in the program, I’ve worked with and partnered with through our business.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?
The biggest challenge when starting was trying to do everything myself! I was responsible for the vision, marketing, payroll, human resources, brand management, etc., basically wearing too many hats. I realized what I enjoyed the most was interacting with customers and then leading and determining the vision for our brand. Building a team will allow founders to do what they do best instead of being too stretched.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I intend to maintain Cathy’s as a corporately ran brand based in Cleveland with 20 locations throughout the southern and eastern regions.
Any advice for future Aviatras?
The best advice is to trust the process (even the tough stuff!) and always believe in yourself. Always.