The Park 5 owner, Cameron Mero, had been working with small business owners for years, assisting them with payroll and HR when he began to feel the itch to go into business for himself. That’s when he got in contact with his brother-in-law, Greg Park, who opened the first location of The Park 5 a few years earlier. Despite warnings to keep the stability of his 9 to 5 job, Mero pushed forward and eventually opened the second location of the specialty soda, ice cream, and snack shop.
“It’s always been a goal to open a place of my own,” said Mero. “I’ve been in sales my whole life, but it wasn’t the sale that I loved. It was connecting with people, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the business.”
The simple, but tasty treats that The Park 5 offers allows him to do just that. Whether it’s a group of high school students who frequent the shop as a local hangout spot, or families coming in for an evening treat, the vibe is friendly and familial, which makes sense given the family nature of the joint.
The Park 5 is named after founder, Greg Park and his five children, all of whom have a menu item named after them. And even with his second location, Mero has kept it in the family. “We have three young kids, which takes up a ton of our time, but my wife still manages to help a ton,” continues Mero. “She’ll run errands, drop off flyers, she also bakes the cookies and frosts them—it’s very family oriented.”
As warned, however, running the business isn’t all sprinkles and frosting. Mero admits that he still opens and closes the shop every day. He’s added employees but continues to spend well over 12 hours a day working to grow the business. But as stressful as it has been, he says it’s worth it. “It’s been great to see things really start to grow. I never thought at 35, that I would get so much satisfaction in making a soda—but I truly love this.”
The Park 5 – Sandy
Owner: Cameron & Rachel Mero
Founded By: Greg & Gwen Park