Little Spoon is a venture to bring delicious adventurous ice cream to Lopez Island, WA. It's about combining new and old flavors in ways that are unexpected and oh so tasty. Little Spoon Ice Cream showcases the bounty of Lopez Island, from incredible berries, stonefruits, and small garden wonders to the earthy goodness you didn't know existed in the native plants of the area. At Little Spoon, I combine the joy of what you know and love with the thrill of what you haven't thought of yet.
Little Spoon, What's that name about?
To me, ice cream is about comfort and love. We all have memories of hazy summer days eating ice cream, maybe as a kid on a family va-ca, maybe with your honey strolling around town. There is so much warmth and love in those times. When I hand you a scoop, that's what I'm hoping to give you. Happy memories associated with careless days, sloppy cones and sweet cream. That's sort of where the name Little Spoon comes from. It encapsulates the coziness I associate with ice cream and frozen desserts. My friends have always loved digging into my ice cream with their little spoons, a big kid like grin on their faces after trying a new flavor. Plus, when I think of little spoons I think of cuddles. Of being safe and loved and cozy. And as I mentioned, that's what I think of ice cream. So, kick back, have some ice cream. I'll always let you be little spoon.
What will Little Spoon look like?
Little Spoon Ice Cream will be sold from a booth in the Lopez Island Farmers Market and through a Community Supported Ice Cream Club within the San Juan Islands. I’m also working on a direct delivery service of pints to the Seattle area; that will likely start mid to late summer. My ice cream cart holds four to six ice cream flavors. I plan to sell two to three constant flavors, two rotating seasonal flavors, and one rotating dairy free flavor. For those who don’t visit the farmers market I have a Community Supported Ice Cream Club (CSICC; we’ll work on the acronym) where folks can pick up their ice cream every one week, two weeks, or month.
Why Lopez Island?
Lopez Island is indeed a small place with a relatively small population. However, Lopez is big in terms of opportunity. It has a vibrant local community deeply engaged in food culture, with many craftsmen, artisans, and farmers producing fresh delicious ingredients. Moreover, the people of Lopez are incredibly caring and interested in seeing young people succeed. If it were not for the guidance and support of Lopez community members, I would never have come this far in making this ice cream dream come true. I like to think of Little Spoon Ice Cream in part as a way to give back to the community that has so bolstered my confidence as a person and an entrepreneur.
But of course you can’t choose your location solely on warm fuzzy feelings. Lopez is also a great spot for ice cream because of high demand, availability of quality local ingredients, and a huge influx of ice cream hungry visitors in the summer months. The San Juan Islands see about a million tourists each year, with some of that traffic to Lopez. Most of these visitors come to the farmers market, and my ice cream will be there to serve them. However, I like to think my ice cream can serve visitors and locals alike through different sale structures. While my farmers market stand largely serves visitors, my community ice cream club allows locals to pick up their ice cream on their own time, often with special flavors not available at the market
Projects Needs and Goals
What I have factored into my funding goal is what I absolutely need to get this business started. This means making a bare bones cart with a little money and a lot of my own sweat equity. Now that I have reached my initial goal, I want to put most extra money towards upgrading my ice cream cart. Unfortunately, there have been some unforeseen costs of extra refrigeration and freezing equipment, so I'd like to fator that into my push goal as well.
- $6,000: This covers the cost of my ideal ice cream cart and adds $500 for extra refrigeration costs
Risks and challenges
Producing any food product on an island presents challenges. I have worked to limit these, finding low cost transportation, a commercial kitchen, and working with regulating agencies. The biggest issues facing me at this point are funding and finding the best mobile freezing unit possible.
Once Little Spoon Ice Cream opens up at the end of May, I expect new challenges. Biggest of those is sustaining customers. I plan on working with the community to get the word out to locals about Little Spoon, participating in events, sharing business cards, and promoting ice cream parties in May. To share info with visitors, I will share my blog www.thelittlespoonful.com and create a new website www.littlespoonicecream.com for people to order online.
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- (29 days)