Seattle native Diane Skwiercz founded Street Treats–offering premium ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and an assortment of baked goods–in 2010. “From our food truck to cafés and local freezer aisles, our desserts are enjoyed across the Pacific Northwest.” Learn about Diane Skwiercz…
First job: Babysitting. I started around 12 and continued through high school. I had three families that I regularly watched. Now, I am blown away that I was responsible for one to three kids at the age of 11 and 12. How is that possible? I was responsible, reliable and patient, which are characteristics that I still have today.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: I spend my free time doing yoga or walking around Capitol Hill, going to the Broadway Sunday farmers market and hanging out in Volunteer Park. I tend to stick to the city during the summer and hike/snowshoe in the fall and winter after our busy season.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I would say most recently is being accepted and graduating from the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business program. I took 12 weeks last fall and dove into my business week by week, learning from subject matter experts and being able to apply those skills. And having, in real time, the support from other fabulous business owners from around the country. It was incredibly inspiring and gave me so much clarity; especially during the challenging times of COVID.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Being a small business owner, there is always ebbs and flows in both positive and challenging ways. But COVID was extremely difficult. There were so many unknowns for so long and still continue. I would say the biggest challenge was keeping our staff and myself healthy and safe. We were open the entire time, as we manufacture and provide products to coffee shops. I am Thankful for the government who stepped in and helped with financial relief.
Someone who inspires you and why: There’s so many people. But I would say small business owners. To live your passion and keep moving forward and be inspired and contribute to the community and economy. Shout out to all of them!
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Owning a small business is no joke. It is extremely difficult at times and you have to be on and sharp and a quick thinker and learner. If you want to start a food truck, I would say you need to work on one for at least a season. The summer months of course are very busy and the workload is heavy. And the winter months are slower. So will you have the motivation to survive and get you through to the next summer both mentally and financially? A food truck is basically a restaurant on wheels. There will be mechanical issues that come up along the way and often out of the blue. So, you will lose a day or two or longer of service (which means money). How will you handle that setback? My biggest words of wisdom are to find a network of people to support you. Especially other small businesses. Some of them may be in your same field and others may not, but we all have encountered one scenario or another. Also, it’s always great to have another set of eyes and ears and to vent when you need to. And lastly, you will not know everything and will find that you aren’t good at some things. So, hire those who can help you do and be better.
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: Even though I am petite, I am pretty strong. So, yes I can lift a 50-lb. bag of flour and sugar.
What makes someone fabulous: I would say just being a good and honest person.