Veronica Parker-Robinson was raised in Williamstown, New Jersey, an unincorporated community in Gloucester County that is comprised of about 15,567 residents.
Though the rural town is relatively small, Parker-Robinson had a huge impact as a multi-sport athlete.
Growing up, Parker-Robinson was a fixture in array of sports, most notably basketball, baseball, field hockey, and track and field, among others.
“I excelled in field hockey and track,” Parker-Robinson, who relocated to the Mid-South seven years ago, told MemphiSport. “I experienced being Tri-County champ in both of these sports as well as receiving newspaper and college scholarships to play both.”
While Parker-Robinson, a self-proclaimed “lazy athlete,” chose not to partake in collegiate sports, it was her competitive drive as a thriving athlete that ultimately fueled her desire to excel in entrepreneurship.
Today, Parker-Robinson, along with her younger brother, Therman, are owners of Parker’s Water Ice. Located at 7050 Malco Crossing in Southeast Memphis, Parker’s Water Ice is the only Italian ice store in the Mid-South that specializes in serving gelati and features well over 24 different flavors of soft serve ice cream.
In addition, Parker’s Water Ice boasts a mobile food truck which, according to Parker-Robinson, is its “mini store on wheels.” Her company has especially evolved as a popular establishment for the Memphis Redbirds organization, considering customers can purchase her products at AutoZone Park. Not only that, Parker’s Water Ice treats are available at the Memphis Zoo.
“We are also known for our gelati which is the layering of Italian ice with serve soft serve ice cream,” Parker-Robinson said.
CHECK OUT PARKER’S WATER ICE ONLINE: www.parkerswaterice.com/
A family-run business whose mission is to provide its customers with high quality products at reasonably low prices, Parker’s Water Ice offers a kosher, fat free, cholesterol free and dairy free Italian ice. Parker’s business also host parties, company appreciations, church picnics, family reunions, offices parties, community sporting events, not to mention fairs and carnivals. Also, this company allows consumers and Mid-South-area businesses to hold fundraisers.
As Parker-Robinson tells it, it took her to actually fail in order to grasp a thorough appreciation for savoring success.
“During my senior year I placed second (in a race), getting nipped at the line in the qualifying meet for state,” Parker-Robinson explained. “I did not lose that race because the other girl was faster than me. I lost because I was out of shape and ran with the proverbial monkey on my back for the last 100 meters. All season long I was able to win my races doing just enough, but just enough was not enough when I faced better competition.
“What really bothered me was the fact that I should have won that race,” Parker-Robinson continued. “If I could come in second doing the minimum, what could I have achieved doing the maximum? I decided from that day, I would no longer live with what if. Even in failing, at least I would know the end result and have given my all. That is why I did not run in college. I knew I had to choose between being a full time student or a part-time student or a part-time athlete. I knew myself. I was honest with myself and, at that point of time in my life, I was not the type to balance both.”
With sports all but a distant memory, Parker-Robinson consequently managed to fulfill her academic obligations, earning degrees in Journalism (with an emphasis in broadcasting) and Sociology from Rutgers University. Fortunately for Parker-Robinson, her academic success proved just as beneficial to her entrepreneurial success than her plethora of accolades as a multi-sport athlete back in the rural setting of Williamstown.
Athletics and academics, nonetheless, helped instill in her the essential attributes to thrive as a flourishing business owners, something about which Memphians have embraced wholeheartedly in recent years.
Parker-Robinson said plans are in the works to add a second location likely in the Bartlett or Cordova area sometime in March 2015.
“I think I was born with the gene, like my father,” Parker-Robinson said of her entrepreneurial success. “My dad would purchase boxes of candy and my youngest brother and I would take the candy to school and sell it. Years later it took shape into our family business.”
A business that figures to have a viable presence in Mid-South for quite some time.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information about Parker’s Water Ice, call 901-624-7676.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.