After the kids were grown, Rhee, a career pharmacist turned fulltime mother, weighed second-career options. She thought of teaching or returning to a pharmacy, but memories of her church’s baking class brought back fond childhood memories of afternoon tea and pastries.
Today, a little more than two years after launching her small business venture — Mama Nita Scones — she has grown from selling scones at farmers’ markets to being a sought-after pastry company that fulfills online catering and gift-box orders.
“As a pharmacist I had to be very exact about filling prescriptions, so that attention to detail probably carried over to my baking,” Rhee says.
At age 50, Rhee did what thousands of Hawaii baby boomers have done or are considering doing — pursuing new passions in adulthood. Many people redirect their lives after major turning points, such as parenthood, retirement or care for elderly parents.
AARP has launched an initiative called Life Reimagined to help older adults unlock their dreams and navigate new life stages. Life Reimagined offers flexible online and offline programs, experiences, resources and services. www.lifereimagined.aarp.org.
AARP has also created Life Reimagined for Work to help experienced workers achieve their employment goals. It’s a social network- based jobs program, connecting workers (with 20-plus years of career experience) with employers who seek qualified workers for more satisfying work and entrepreneurial opportunities. www.workreimagined.aarp.org.
As for Rhee, she’s looking at new ventures such as creating wedding favors and setting up a scone factory. While expanding is one option, she says firmly that, “making money is not the sole purpose of my business … I have a mission.” She dreams of training people in underdeveloped countries about her business model so they can sustain themselves. Recently, a church member approached her about training women in Thailand to bake scones for coffee shops.
Anita’s eyes twinkle at the prospect of doing good work and using local fruits to develop new flavors. Up every morning from 4 a.m., she’s baking her way toward her dreams one scone at a time. For a closer look at what she’s doing in the kitchen, visit www.mamanitascones.com.