Client’s survival of 9/11 changes life path.

by admin on September 9, 2013

I have had numerous clients over the years, yet none that had a story that was so life changing as Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung.

These two young women were traveling the globe conducting business deals in the world of high finance. They met at a training conference in New York City on November of 2001 and enjoyed talking about their world travels that afforded them the opportunity to dine at the best restaurants. Their conversations always centered around their love of food, creating a bond of friendship.

On the fateful morning of November 11, Jan found herself in Tower 7 when the first plane hit, while Helen was walking from her apartment in Battery Park witnessing the horror in front of her.

Thank God they made it through the tragedy. Helen was able to get an email out to her family two days after her rescue transfer to New Jersey. She shared that email with me and it was chilling to read. I couldn’t imagine it.

Jan and Helen reconnected and talked about the tragedy as well as what was next in their lives. They were both stressed and unfulfilled by the industry they were in and decided that this incident was a sign of a second chance in life. They rekindled their talks about their passion for food and cooking and decided to make it a reality. Over the next few years, they took the steps they needed. You can read more on their website at

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When I met them to interview them and put their PR strategy together, they mentioned 9/11. I told them they needed to share it. They didn’t want to use that horrible tragedy to promote their business. My response to them was that it was because of 9/11 that they opened Sweet Republic and it would inspire others. After more discussion they understood that it was the reason they changed their lives and opened up this business.

Then the question…Why ice cream? “Because we feel that ice cream is a perfect food with a lot of creativity and fun in making it,” states Helen. “It also puts a smile on people’s face and that is very rewarding.”

They have put a lot of smiles on faces here in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, creating eclectic flavors and textures. They have received many awards and accolades in local and national media, such as garnering the #1 Top Ten Ice Cream Shop in bon appétit Magazine, Top Ice Cream Parlors in USA Today, Best Thing I Ever Ate on The Food Network, Fab Food Carts TLC Best Food Ever and the September 3rd, 2012 issue of Time Magazine. To see more news coverage visit

They can also be found in Whole Foods (select flavors) and on many dessert menus at many of the Valley’s finest restaurants. To see where else they have shown up and more information and more importantly where to go in Scottsdale to taste the incredible flavors…(bacon is one of the most popular!) visit

They love giving back every year on 9/11 with their First Responder Appreciation Day to express their sincerest gratitude to the women and men who were first on the scene. All these men and women need to do is come into the store in uniform or with an I.D. and enjoy a free scoop of ice cream. One small gesture to give thanks.

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I am so grateful that they are here, safe and happy and serving ice cream. They have made me smile from the minute I met them, without the ice cream.

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