Almost two years ago now, I interviewed Stephen from The Good Scoop. Read our first interview here. And now, I'm doing a follow up. What you might not know is that Stephen and I have become great friends since then and now. Some of the people I reach out to and interview for this Organic Makers series have become close friends. Candice of Ivory & Iron (formerly Cacao Sweets & Treats) and I are besties and we text weekly about business and also not about business haha, the ladies over at Moo Chocolates have become a client of mine at Above 8000 Creative and I absolutely love working with them and helping their business grow, and the The Prager Brothers and I sometimes share business knowledge and advice. And of course Stephen and I have worked on all kinds of things together, and he is also a client of ours at Above 8000 Creative.
All of the companies I share here on the blog I have a genuine interest in and I believe that they are doing something good for their industry as well as the environment. And sometimes I get lucky enough that we bond, and I keep in touch with them. We talk about business, I help them, they help me, we vent, and we're friends. Having other people that know what I'm going through, or have gone through helps with the stress as a business owner. And especially being a green business owner is something I can't share with many other people. So I am super thankful for all my relationships that I have been able to build because of Dessert'D.
So, because I am friends with Stephen I know he has gone through some major changes with his business recently. And, as I have gone through some major changes with my business as well, I know the struggles and also the excitement and hope that you are choosing the right path for your business so more people can have the opportunity to enjoy what you make.
I thought it would be best to share Stephen's story with you so you can see that change is sometimes inevitable and it is usually always for the better, even if it can be scary or difficult, or just plain no fun.
And, Stephen and I also collaborated on a recipe. He is sharing his Strawberry Ice Cream recipe with us below and I have created a cookie that pairs so well it, Almond Snickerdoodles. And I made them into ice cream sandwiches! The perfect dessert for these hot summer days ahead! Read the interview and find the recipe below.
Mimi: What is the biggest change in your business since the last time we spoke?
Stephen: We started making all our own ice creams! This is something we have been wanting since the beginning and have been working on making it a reality. We are having so much fun brainstorming ideas, making test batches (and doing plenty of taste testing ourselves!), and incorporating our community with “create your own ice cream” contests hosted at the local library and elementary school.
M: Tell me about the decision you made from purchasing Tara’s Organic Ice cream to making your own Artisan organic ice cream.
S: I always wanted to make my own ice cream, and when I was first thinking about opening an ice cream shop I spent a lot of time making my own ice cream. It was a lot of fun and we surprise ourselves by making some really delicious ice cream. The realities of starting a business including finding the right team and proper financing necessitated that we hold off on making our own ice cream. In hindsight, I am not sure this was the right decision but nevertheless it is the decision we made. We have nothing but positive things to say about Tara and here delicious ice cream, it was great working with her and I still love her ice cream.
M: What’s your favorite part about making your own small batch ice cream?
S: I am naturally a creative person and I love ice cream, so having the space and ability to create delicious ice creams is fun for me. Making small batch ice cream reflects our values by supporting our farmers by using locally grown foods. We support our community by sourcing our ingredients as locally as possible and collaborate with many local small businesses. I keep an eye out for interesting flavors and ideas in my day-to-day life as stay at home Dad of two boys. My three year old takes his “job” as the Assistant Ice Cream Maker very seriously and comes up with plenty of creative flavor ideas! He also feels very strongly that we should save all the chocolate ice cream for him!
M: What’s the least favorite part?
S: None :)
M: So are you wholesaling your ice cream now? Or will you be?
S: Yes! We are finally able to wholesale our ice cream and have just begun that process. We are working to establish a few vendors in Davis and the surrounding communities to carry some of our flavors.
M: When we last spoke your retail location was located in Davis, California. You’ve recently closed that location and moved to Dixon, California. Why the move?
S: The decision to close the Davis shop was not easy as we all live in Davis and have a strong relationship with the town. We are so very thankful for the love and support we felt from Davis, but the opportunity to have more space for making ice cream came about and we knew we had to make the move. We had been making ice cream in Davis under a limited manufacturing permit but in order to wholesale our ice cream we need to build a dairy production space. When we found our space in Dixon it had an underutilized storage room in the back that we saw the opportunity to create a production space in.
M: What was the hardest thing about moving locations? Sometimes the right decisions are difficult to make, how did you know it was the right thing to do?
S: We think we have made a good move! Everyone in Dixon has been so welcoming and we have great neighbors, The Solano Baking Company (we have already begun lasting friendships and a delicious culinary relationship!) The Dixon shop is just a quick ten minutes from our Davis location. The drive is easy and there is plenty of free parking! Ease of parking is a big deal, especially when you have the little ones with you (believe me, I know!).
M: What kind of plans for growth do you have for The Good Scoop?
S: Well we have a second shop in the works for 15th and Q Street in Sacramento so we are hoping to make a strong entry into the Sacramento market. We are also looking for other wholesale partners who might be interested in carrying our ice cream in some way shape or form. We are working on getting pints and single serve cups ready for wholesale production and would love to find some local companies that share our values to work with to sell our ice cream. We also look forward to meeting and working with our local farmers to create delicious treats.
Now, it's time to make ice cream sandwiches! The ice cream is a two day process, so make sure to take note of that if you are trying to have these on hand for a party.
The Good Scoops's Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes about 2 pints
2 cups organic heavy cream
1 cup organic whole milk
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
4 large organic egg yolks
1 1/2 pounds organic fresh ripe strawberries, crushed
To make the ice cream: In a medium pot, slowly simmer the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt until the sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove the pot from heat.
In a separate bowl, place egg yolks. Whisk the egg yolks, then slowly whisk about a quarter to a third of the hot cream mixture into the yolks. This will slowly increase the temperature but not cook the eggs.
Next whisk the combined egg yolk and cream mixture back into the pot with the remaining hot cream mixture. Increase the heat to medium, until fully incorporated, and return the pot to low heat until mixture thickens. It will thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, it should take 5 to 10 minutes.
Allow mixture to reach room temperature then cover it and chill overnight in the refrigerator. At this time, also place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer as well as a container to hold the finished ice cream. Any type of container will work, we use glass jars in my house or a 9 x 5-inch pan works great too! (I actually used a 9 x 9-inch pan and it worked great!)
Remove the milk mixture from the fridge, add in the crushed strawberries and whisk to combine completely. Each ice cream machine is different so you should consult your instructions, but for most machines simply place the bowl of the ice cream maker on the machine and start churning on low (with nothing in it yet). Slowly add the milk mixture to the churning ice cream maker. Churn for 25 to 30 minutes (or follow instructions on your ice cream maker). Place the finished ice cream in the cold jars or dish and place back in the freezer overnight.
Almond Snickerdoodle Cookies
1 stick (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (3/4 cup) organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon organic almond flavor
2 organic large eggs
255 grams (2 cups) organic all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon organic cinnamon
28 grams (2 tablespoons) organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
Method Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, sugar, and almond flavor. Mix on low until combined and there are no chunks of butter.
Add the eggs and mix just slightly, enough to break the yolks.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon and mix together. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low until a dough forms.
To make the topping: In a small dish, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Using your hands, roll the dough into 24 balls and roll them in the topping mixture. Place on prepared cookie sheets and flatten slightly so they are about 2 inches in diameter.
Bake for 11 minutes or until set and dry on top. Let cool completely on cookie sheets.
Assemble into ice cream sandwiches or store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Gluten Free - Replace the flour with 269 grams (1 3/4 cups) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude – Bake at 375°F for 8 minutes or until set and dry.
Once the ice cream and cookies are both made, assemble them by putting a scoop of ice cream onto each cookie and sandwiching with another cookie. You can also use a cookie cutter and cut out circles of ice cream if you want them to look a little cleaner.
Tip - Because the cookies are soft and chewy if you freeze the cookies ahead of time just for 15 minutes or so, they won't break as easily when you smash them onto the ice cream for sandwiches.
Store in the freezer for up to 1 week.