By ADAM SCHRADER
Published in Community Impact Newspaper on May 15, 2017
All Things Kids celebrated its sixth anniversary by licensing Beth Marie’s ice cream to open a 140-sq. ft. shop called ScoopZ, completing the store’s available retail space. Beth Marie’s, based on Denton’s Square, will make the ice cream and deliver it weekly.
“It’s a well-loved brand, and we’re proud to serve Beth Marie’s,” said Karen Soeffker, owner of All Things Kids.
Soeffker said parallels should be drawn between her toy-and-scoop shop and Mesquite Creek Outfitters, which drew attention in Georgetown as a clothing retail-bar establishment.
“The play is the same. This is the future of retail,” Soeffker said. “It’s a new generation of downtown businesses.”
Soeffker, 52, said her $60,000 investment in ScoopZ included equipment, inventory and remodeling the shop. Each worker received their food handler’s license. Long-time employee Lana Massey received her food handling manager’s certification.
“Toy season is ice cream season downtime,” Soeffker said. “But the state that sells the most ice cream is Washington, so we may see winter success.”
ScoopZ will offer a party room for ice cream socials and set up tables outside for people to relish their treats.
“Sweet Serendipity sells six Blue Bell flavors. Cianfrani’s has six Amy’s flavors. We have 42 of Beth Marie’s,” Soeffker said. “They’re all unique Texas brands that offer something for everyone.”
ScoopZ created localized flavors, including: a Red Poppy ice cream made with red velvet cake, a cream cheese swirl and poppy seeds; a Sweet Lemon Drop ice cream, made with Sweet Lemon Inn and Kitchen’s cookies; and a spicy flavor made with Mikey V’s hot sauce. Soeffker said some flavors will contain alcohol, including one made with beer from Georgetown’s Rentsch Brewery.
“It’s all about the parents really,” she said. “Parents have the spending power so we want to reward them.”
Ken Willis, owner of Beth Marie’s, said he was inspired to create alcoholic ice cream by attending an ice cream convention nine years ago.
“I picked this man’s brain about how he successfully ran three east coast shops,” Willis said. “He closed two months each winter to drink in Mexico, writing it off on his taxes. He found that good drinks make great ice cream.”
The encounter primed Willis to sell treats made with margaritas, rum, bourbon and beer.
“We can make 10-gallon batches of special flavors on our 1929 Emory Thompson ice cream makers,” Willis said. “They’re simple machines, like an old Ford pickup.”
Before opening, Soeffker, who wanted to sell premium ice cream with unusual flavors, first looked to out-of-state makers. But none seemed to fit the shop’s Texan identity, she said.
Local economic development groups told Soeffker they tried convincing Beth Marie’s to open years back but the brand didn’t feel ready to grow at the time, she said. But Willis said the company recently sought to expand.
“I realized we had a large following from alumni [of Denton’s universities]in all these towns,” Willis said. “And nothing beats eating ice cream on a downtown curb.”
All Things Kids
703 S. Main St., Georgetown
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.,
Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m