Chan Park’s Curiosity Leads His Ambition to THRIVE

Chan Park


Journey in certifying 8(a), VOSB, SDVOSB, VBE, MBE, and ACDBE

Chan Park wakes up at 4 a.m. every morning to prepare for the daily grind of managing his business, a lifelong learner in constant pursuit of growth and development. 

Recently completing SBA’s T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders program as part of the 2023 Boston cohort, Park went from self-doubt to strategic expansion in his entrepreneurial journey. 

"Before participating in SBA’s THRIVE program, I was in the B2C sector and hesitant about my B2G expansion plans. I was unsure of my capabilities, the competitive landscape and the overall feasibility of entering the government market,” said Chan Park. “The program helped me overcome my self-doubt by providing me with a full assessment of my business strengths and weaknesses.”

Park is the owner of Logan Currito, an airport concessions business inside of Boston’s Logan International Airport, that through years of persistence has gained several certifications: SBA 8(a), Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE). 

Originally from South Korea, Park immigrated with his parents to Koreatown, Los Angeles in the 90s.  After spending two years in high school and graduating, Park chose to serve the country he now called home – enlisting in the Marine Corps and serving from 1995 to 1999.   

When he became a civilian again, Park began working for a small IT firm – but never stopped dreaming about becoming a small business owner.  Without much seed capital to launch a business after just getting out of the Marines, Park learned that the food and beverage industry was the easiest pathway into ownership due to the low barriers to entry and his ability to utilize his people skills.  Park and his wife took a leap of faith and opened up a coffee shop in a small corporate park right outside of Los Angeles.  

Later after building and selling the coffee shop business, he had developed a winning formula for flipping businesses for a profit, repeated the strategy; and equipped himself with more capital to seek out new opportunities.


In 2007 while at a small business networking event in Boston, Park was introduced to Massport’s Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program which ensures that minority and women owned businesses have an equal opportunity to participate in concession opportunities at the airport.

Chan learned about the application requirements and responded to the RFP with encouragement and guidance by Massport Business Manager, Sal Amico.  Park’s application was successful – and he became one of four Quick Serve Restaurants in a new food court within the airport, opening a Mexican fast-food restaurant – Logan Currito. 


After enduring COVID and realizing the impacts on his business, Park was curious to discover new opportunities, pivots and resources to sustain his business.

Reading an online article in the Korea Times Newspaper written by Mr. Matthew Lee with KoBE Government Contracting Alliance, it changed his trajectory.  Mr. Lee’s success story about graduating from the 8(a) program as an IT firm owner, inspired Park to explore 8(a) certification for his own business.

Park began attending networking events and connected with the SBA Massachusetts resource partner network. After participating in a workshop on Doing Business with the Federal Government hosted by SBA Business Opportunity Specialist Susan Lourie – Park learned more about 8(a) certification, the requirements, and once more, his curiosity led him to pursue certification for his business.

Self-motivated, Chan applied to the 8(a) Business Development program online at – but was rejected 5 times.  That’s when Park, frustrated with the onerous paperwork, reached out to Mr. Matthew Lee who gladly offered guidance.

After learning about his military veteran background, Park was encouraged to also apply for the VOSB (Veteran-Owned Small Business) and the SDVOSB (Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business), which he received in March 2023.  Mr. Lee gave Park the technical assistance he needed and confidence to follow through.  In June of 2023, Park finally received confirmation of 8(a) certification with the SBA! 



Through interactive workshops and mentoring sessions, I gained valuable insights into market research, strategic planning, and financial projections,” said Park. “This newfound clarity helped me develop a comprehensive B2G expansion plan with clear goals and measurable objectives.

THRIVE is an intensive, executive-level training series that offers opportunities for small business owners to work with professional coaches and mentors, gain skills needed to grow, and develop connections with peers, local leaders, and the financial community.  APPLY HERE

  • TWO COHORTS now recruiting in Worcester and Boston
  • Classes run from mid-June to mid-December
  • Application Deadline: April, 28th, 2024

Now, I'm not just dreaming about entering the B2G market,” said Park.  “I have a strategic roadmap to guide me every step of the way." I'm very confident that with the skills I've gained through SBA Thrive, I can build another successful chapter for my business in the B2G sector."

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.