Richard Tam, Midwood High School ’10: 10Below Ice Cream Founder & Entrepreneur
When he decided to create an ice cream business a few months before graduating from Baruch College, Richard Tam had no idea that 10Below would grow to be one of the hottest food spots in New York City.
Since the 2015 opening of its Chinatown storefront, the chain, which features Thai-inspired ice cream rolls and ice cream waffle tacos, has been named the “#1 New Ice Cream Shop in NYC” by EaterNY, one of “The Summer’s Hottest New Ice Cream Innovations” by NY1, and landed on TimeOut’s “Most Instagrammable Foods” list.
His favorite 10Below ice cream flavor: “The first flavor I came up with– Monkey Business (banana and Nutella).”
With the help of two co-founders (David Chen, Millennium High School ’11 and Wilson Tam, Stuyvesant High School ’05), the innovative ice cream business blew up after going viral on social media and sites like Buzzfeed. Following the opening of their first store in Chinatown, 10Below has expanded with four branches in New York City and two more in Los Angeles and Philadelphia coming soon.
Richard hadn’t always planned to become a young entrepreneur. At Midwood High School, he studied science and was on the swimming and volleyball teams. Richard says he wouldn’t be where he is today without the teams and clubs he joined in school: “Sports helped me learn how to overcome obstacles, and meet older students who helped me out and gave me advice,” he said.
Though he knows that many people believe his job is all about eating ice cream, 10Below has forced Richard to learn the ins and outs of running a business in New York City. “It’s overwhelming. I was often in a position where I could’ve turned around but I kept stumbling forward,” he said. Of 10Below’s success, Richard laughs: “It’s like seeing my baby grow up.”