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Partners hope to scoop into market

Local technology entrepreneurs plan to open all-natural ice cream shop in downtown Newhall

Posted: August 19, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 19, 2012 2:00 a.m.

To the delight of their neighbors, The Whole Scoop owners Allison Edwards and Scott Berry research and develop ice cream recipes in the test kitchen set up in their garage.

 

If all goes as planned, three years of planning is expected to pay off for local technology entrepreneurs Scott Berry and Allison Edwards when they open their first brick-and-mortar, all-natural ice cream shop The Whole Scoop in downtown Newhall.

Technology wizards by trade, the Santa Clarita partners stumbled upon their latest passion when they began making home-made ice cream for dessert in their family kitchen. Using all-natural ingredients, the couple eventually mastered the art of making an ultra-premium ice cream.

“America-style ice cream has lower butterfat content and more air incorporated into it,” said Allison Edwards. “We use higher butterfat content and put very little air into it.”

As the partners became more proficient in the art of making a premium ice cream, they eventually converted their garage into a test kitchen, complying with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requirements to meet cleanliness standards, Edwards said. Using the best, all-natural ingredients they can find, the couple has developed about 16 flavors.

Until they’re licensed to operate as a business, friends, neighbors and the community have benefited from Edwards and Berry’s ice cream making skills.

“We have to make 36 gallons at a time, and it has to be used within a short amount of time because of the fresh dairy ingredients,” Edwards said. “So we give it away for free to neighbors and at community socials. People give us feedback and that has been the most valuable result of those socials.”

In the meantime, Edwards and Berry have been busy securing a storefront location, health permits and building a customized point of sale system that will track their sales, ingredients, and inventory for recipes.

The partners have sunk their own money — close to $75,000 — into the business up to this point and own all the equipment necessary to store and produce the ice cream, Edwards said. They launched a Kickstarter campaign, unsuccessfully, but believe they may give that approach another try when they have the time to focus on rallying support.

The pair also found a nonprofit in San Diego that helped them prepare their documents to apply for an SBA loan. Edwards and Berry expect to hear back in a few weeks as to whether they’ll receive financing.

The partners have also been working with commercial Realtor Tim Crissman for over a year about leasing space in the historic downtown business district in Newhall.

The Whole Scoop’s concept is off-beat in terms of branding, Edwards said. The concept of the store and the way it’s being put together didn’t fit in a strip mall, but the pair did feel their store was a good match with the revitalization of downtown Newhall.

“It’s been very exciting. They’ve approached their business in a manner that I wish more clients would,” Crissman said. “They’re thorough and did their due diligence. And they are very passionate about their business model and their product.”

Edwards and Berry are negotiating on a storefront on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, he said. The building has 3,800 square feet of space that will be divided to make 1,600 square feet of room for The Whole Scoop.

“I’m very confident the deal is going to come together very shortly,” Crissman said.

The planning division for the city of Santa Clarita has been working with the building architect, and the city’s Economic Development office referred Edwards and Berry to a couple of programs they may find useful as they prepare to open, said Jason Crawford, marketing and economic development manager for the city of Santa Clarita.

“We definitely are looking forward to them opening soon in Old Town Newhall as small businesses such as this contribute greatly to our economic vitality,” Crawford said.

Edwards and Berry hope to open in early October. But the timing of the opening is only somewhat in their control, Edwards said. The Whole Scoop partners need all of the architectural plans pulled together and city permits, as well as a plan review by the health department. These processes will take several weeks. When The Whole Scoop is ready to open, their site will be inspected for final approval.

But, if Edwards and Berry are successful, their business plan already calls for opening a few more stores.

“We’re creating an experience that welcomes patrons to savor each flavor, take the time to chat, shoot some pinball or surf the net,” Edwards said. “It’s all about the simple things in life that makes The Whole Scoop, and nothing but the scoop.”

jadkins@the-signal.com

661-287-5599

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