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Community Highlights: Meet Paris Harper of Paris Ice Bar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paris Harper.

Hi Paris, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I began my journey into the bar industry 15 years ago at 19 years old. I attended culinary school at the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago, specializing in baking and patisserie at the time. A family friend knew that I took an interest in bartending and was able to help me with enrollment in a part-time bartending course. I would walk down to bartender school once culinary class ended, almost running because I was so excited about what new technique I would learn next! Soon after I was done with culinary school, I landed a part-time position as a lead bartender at a neighborhood bar on the east end of Chicago. Though I was a full-time line cook at an upscale steakhouse, my bartender position was by far my favorite line of work! The Tropical Den, predominantly a 62+ crowd, was so family-oriented and I became the niece of all my customers! Working there gave me an understanding of what loyalty, family values and how following my passion is a must if it makes me happy. So that’s exactly what I did. Additionally, I took extra training courses to master mixology.

With my experience over the years, my role went from a shot girl to bartender to lead bartender to bar manager. The majority of the establishments I’ve worked for, I literally ran them as my own. From serving cocktails, the food, inventory updates, creating weekly menus, weekly specials even interviewing training, hiring and firing of the staff. I eventually sat down and thought how do I really feel that I’m making a difference for someone else’s dream as a successful bar owner. I would want someone like myself to work for me in my establishment. Since 2021, I now hold the permanent role as Founder of the mobile mixology service Paris Ice Bar! Paris Ice Bar was founded with the help of my master Chef Godfather, Seron aka Mr Brunch Chicago who helped me come up with the name. So far, I’ve serviced private events in my hometown of Chicago to Detroit, Atlanta and Orlando. It’s a small business that I work hard for each and every day towards developing from a mobile business to a full-running brick & mortar establishment very soon!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Throughout my journey, I struggled finding the right connections for business networking. I met the people who you would want and should meet in the entrepreneur world. Mayors, restaurant owners, cigar connoisseurs and personal celebrity chefs. But being a young female looking for valuable information on how to become or even start to develop entrepreneurship, I was looked down upon and never taken seriously. I was even told that “you’re so good at this bartending thing, so just stay here where I can count on a great cocktail.” That gave me more fuel to get off of someone else payroll and lead my own way to success as a creator of my own!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Paris Ice Bar is an independent mobile mixology service. Meaning I bring the happy hour to YOU! I create and serve craft cocktails made with especially fresh ingredients and premium libations. My goal is to make every event a full experience with the exception that my guest are not in a bar setting. The experience is in the comfort of their home, or corporate environment, even the backyard. My specialty range from signature flavored mojitos, margaritas, sangrias and even a fiery old-fashioned. The most requested drink is the Pineapple Hennessy lemonade! There are even CBD infused cocktails made with a high absorption CBD tincture specially made for mixologist! What I believe sets me apart from other establishments is the experience I bring to your event. Each glass is filled with smoke, some have fire on top and the exceptional taste is irreplaceable. What I’m most proud of is that with the pandemic happening, my guest understand that there is still risk out here and being able to enjoy a delectable cocktail with close friends and family, Paris Ice Bar is here to keep the party alive! This a mobile service meaning I travel to you practically anywhere! Pricing is by the hour depending on guest count, travel, etc. I do keep pricing affordable for customer satisfaction. I also offer hookah rentals as well!

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success is when all of your hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations are being accomplished. Not meaning that you have necessarily earned tons of money or accrued 1.5M followers, I mean when you are fulfilling your passion and knows what it takes to complete your goal, that’s success! For example, My long-term dream is to own a fully operated brick and mortar bar. Starting as a mobile service, building business credit, being fearless of new techniques and unlimited networking is how I am building to my success as a bar owner. Being successful is being exceptionally confident within your passion.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Tavon Carson- Picsani

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