Growing up, going out for ice cream was always a treat for brothers Potomac Mitchell and Timothy Roo – another sweeter experience was watching the way their father’s face lit up after a single spoonful of frozen dairy treat .
“He was a diabetic, but he also loved ice cream,” Timothy, 30, said of his father, John, who died in 2019. “He would always get in trouble with my mom because he would sneak our cream icy.”
“My mother only took us for ice cream, so [we’d] go ahead and bring it back and [he’d] run around and say ‘let me have a bite to eat,'” Timothy said. “Even though he had diabetes, he was so happy with that bite of ice cream. I think psychologically that’s what made me and my brother get into this business because it It’s like a happiness business.
Hailing from Montgomery County and graduating from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, the two opened their, The Scoop, in Cabin John Village with a mission to spread happiness, much like eating ice cream made their dad happy.
“If you look at our website, our unofficial slogan is to scoop up happiness one spoonful at a time,” he said. “As always, it’s a happy vibe.”
In honor of their father, they also plan to add a sugar-free Ode to John flavor, but they are still deciding what that flavor should be.
Their plans for their flavors aren’t limited to expanding to sugar-free ones – they also plan to have vegan flavors. The shop recently launched its vegan chocolate flavor made with coconut milk.
Since all of the ice cream is handcrafted by the duo daily, it’s easier for them to choose the flavors.
“We have the ability to create whatever flavor we want at any time,” Mitchell, 35, said. “We just need the right ingredients. If 100 people come to ask for a particular flavor, we have the capacity to do it.
Many of the store’s flavors are inspired by foods the brothers enjoy, like coffee and cookies or peach cobbler. Others draw inspiration from Mitchell’s travel experiences, including learning about the popularity of maple-flavored nuts in Boston or finding inspiration for sherbet flavors while visiting Hawaii.
Mitchell said he also finds a way to give his flavors a unique twist.
“Of course, I do a lot of in-depth research based on a lot of the famous West Coast ice cream places out there to see what’s popular,” Mitchell said. “I will not make a direct copy; I modify it myself. There are a lot of different flavors that I’m still working on.
Mitchell said they try to use as many natural ingredients as possible and use fresh fruit in their fruit flavors, while avoiding the use of corn syrups.
A fun side of being a customer at The Scoop is the ability to request a flavor to be added to the menu.
“Once a month we try to work with our customers and if they have a flavor they want, we’ll do our best, good or bad, to make it happen.”
This month, a customer pitched the idea for an animal cracker flavor that would be named after his daughter. So the brothers created Chloe’s Animal Crackers flavor, which Timothy says tastes similar to birthday cake, even though the ice cream contains animal crackers. The brothers said it had become popular and could remain in rotation on the store’s menu.
The store’s current best-selling flavor is Cookie Butter, which was previously Bourbon Caramel Crunch.
As Potomac natives, they are also dedicated to giving back to the community through their business. They will hold their first fundraiser for Bells Mills Elementary School from 5-8 p.m. Thursday.
The community has also supported the business and the brothers have been able to build a team of 18-20 local high schoolers and, according to Timothy, they are looking to hire more.
Timothy said his overall goal is to make his customers happy.
“My goal is for everyone who walks through this door to walk out with a smile,” he said. “Even though our sales aren’t doing very well that day, it’s like I made so many kids happy.”
Although Mitchell is focused on building business for The Scoop, he is also looking to grow in the future.
“We want to make a name for ourselves in the DMV area so badly that people on the West Coast know about us,” he said.
The Scoop, 7909 Tuckerman Lane, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.