Local Business is a Scooptacular Success
Despite the economy, some local businesses are holding steady and giving back to the community. One such business is an independently owned ice cream store in Laveen. Scooptacular, owned by local residents Nindi and Carissa Wadhwa, is midway through its second year at 51st Avenue and Baseline.
Browse the display case and you’ll find tasty ice cream flavors like Dreamsicle, Cookie Monster (yes, its blue), Chocolate Mint Chip with chips of Andes Mints and Birthday Cake with buttercream frosting swirled amid the red and blue sprinkles. You’ll also find ice cream cakes and cupcakes you can take home for parties. Better yet, you can host a party at Scooptacular, where the birthday boy or girl can make their very own flavor.
Located next to Starbucks, in what was once a former chain ice cream store, the Wadhwas have built a family friendly, community-based ice cream shop with delicious and sometimes wacky ice cream flavors.
“We like to try different things,” Nindi said. “It’s fun to experiment.”
As independent owners, the Wadhwas aren’t bound by corporate manuals and are free to create whatever flavors might come to mind. Recent experimentations have created some enticing desserts – like the custom wine and tequila sorbets Scooptacular developed for nearby Corona Ranch – and some off-the-wall flops like the hotdog-flavored ice cream they designed in honor of baseball season.
“It was terrible,” Nindi said.
But, also a lot of fun.
Scooptacular uses only the best ingredients to craft their exclusive ice creams, all of which are made on site. The couple enjoys the flexibility to mix and match ingredients, discovering new favorites and inviting their customers within the community to do the same.
“The response from the community has been overwhelming in a positive way,” Carissa said. “We appreciate the community support. We always want to know what else we can do, because we wouldn’t be here without the community.”
Scooptacular fully supports giving back to Laveen. Most recently, Scooptacular ice cream could be found throughout the days prior to Halloween at community events around the Laveen area, including Crosswalk’s Trunk or Treat at Cesar Chavez High School and the Haunted Hayride at South Mountain Park. Always interested in creating new products, Scooptacular introduced four spooky new flavors – Green Monster Chip, Coffin Candy, Cookies & Scream, and Black Cat Licorice – for their own free community event “Trick or Sweet,” held on Halloween, which offered children in costume a free kid-sized scoop.
“Laveen is such a small town; it’s a tight-knit community where everyone knows everybody. We want them to know we provide a safe place for their families,” said Nindi.
This ice cream shop is kid-sized, too, with its kid-sized tables and chairs and a television that plays kid-friendly movies like the recent Disney hit, “Tangled”.
“Our motivation is our 4-year-old daughter and what she’d enjoy in the store,” said Nindi.
Scooptacular also offers tours of the store, and among the things kids enjoy, is seeing where all of that ice cream is stored.
“Children love the freezer. If that’s all we did was show them the freezer, they would be happy,” Carissa said.
The Wadwhas have been busy these past 18 months, but according to Nindi, the experiences have been invaluable. While they learned a lot on the fly, it helped them “build a better knowledge base and has given them a great foundation.”
“Going into it, we were preparing for the worst,” Carissa said. “The first year was definitely challenging and a stretch for our family.”
That year, 2010, was a very busy year for the couple. In February, they signed the lease for the store; in March, Nindi graduated with his MBA; in April, their second daughter was born; and on May 4th they opened the store.
“The first time I made ice cream was a week before the store opened,” Nindi said. “We had no experience whatsoever in the ice cream industry.”
In fact, both Nindi and Carissa had been in the airline industry.
A year and a half later, the business is settling into a comfortable rhythm, and the couple has found they can spend more time together as a family, while providing a welcoming space for other families to come together.
Scooptacular is located next to Starbucks in the Fry’s shopping center at 5150 W. Baseline Rd. Suite 102 in Laveen, and is open Sunday through Thursday Noon – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday Noon – 10 p.m. For more information about the store, visit online at HYPERLINK “http://www.scooptacular.com” www.scooptacular.com or call 602-237-0254.
Written by Christine K. Bailey 602.410.4506