Cool Mom, Hot Pops
Slabs of frozen yogurt triple-dunked in molten chocolate—hazelnut, white and dark—dredged in Cape Cod Beer Brittle, pelted with morsels of the Hole In One’s Midnight dark chocolate granola, and dusted with Cape Cod Saltworks’ sea salt. The Local Scoop’s moniker for this one, the Mega Pop, fits perfectly.
Just two years ago, The Local Scoop, a specialty yogurt, ice cream and cake café, opened on Route 6A across from the Orleans windmill. “The Scoop” has quickly become a community touch point.
A pair of students welcomes customers to choose from among ten soft serve flavors and over sixty toppings. Near the retro-vibe booths and aqua tables and stools, a motif of sassy spoons dances across the wall. Presented salad-bar style are dishes, canisters and squeeze bottles of sauces, candies, syrups, mix-ins, fresh fruits, and a trio of homemade flavored whipped creams. On warm days and starry nights, a side door opens onto a sustainably planted garden space.
“We’ve gotten great community support and acceptance from the start. It’s heartwarming how we were embraced,” says owner Mary DeBartolo. “Now that this frozen dessert bar is up and going, it’s time to focus on what has been our biggest premise: local food.”
The launch of “Cape Cod Pops” is one of the ways DeBartolo, a full-time IT sales rep and parent of three young men, is reaching out to other local food artisans. The probiotic-rich frozen yogurts and homemade traditional hard ice creams, with sugar-free, low sugar and dairy-free options, are the perfect base to marry the flavors of fruits, vegetables, salts, sugars and baked goods, all grown, harvested or created on Cape Cod.
Friend Peter Kelly and his son Patrick invested in a custom designed “pop mobile,” that rolled The Local Scoop into the Orleans Farmers’ Market and Cape festival scene last summer. Crowds cheered for the pops, and The Local Scoop loved rubbing elbows with other vendors. Soon Cape Cod Saltworks sea salt found its way into a salted pretzel caramel yogurt flavor, and E&T Farms honey and Chatham Jam & Jelly preserves are featured in the topping bar.
Even Truro Vineyards’ Cabernet has made its way into a frozen treat: the Vineyard Pop! This summer the Sailor Pop debuts, spiked with Truro Vineyards’ new Twenty Boat rum, spiced with cardamom and vanilla bean.
“I got to meet Anna, growing for Redberry Farm in Eastham, who introduced me to Eastham turnips, which in turn inspired my passionate cake artist, Patty Fettig,” says DeBartolo. “We took home best in show awards at the 2013 Eastham Turnip Festival with the last-minute entries she created: maple-turnip ice cream and turnip-cranberry ice cream pie.”
“Fettig can design and create any cake you can imagine, and she does so working with ice cream, frozen yogurt, gluten-free or sugar-free soft serve or even simply frozen fruit,” says DeBartolo. The Local Scoop does all sizes of custom special event cakes and introduces desserts du jour like Baked Alaska featuring homemade brownies, and Madagascar Vanilla Bean ice cream, peaked with meringue.
“The Local Scoop just got our first order for wedding cupcakes,” says DeBartolo. “We’ll do a traditional chocolate/vanilla twist, a Cape Cod Beer version, and a salted caramel pretzel.”
Targeted for kids of all ages, The Scoop’s birthday parties start with a flavor wheel. Guests create a carton of a custom flavor of the birthday kid’s choosing, then the entire party makes a run through the toppings bar.
“We do lots of testing and pairings, but all the while we’re blindfolded to see if we’re really conscious of the foods we’re tasting,” says DeBartolo. “It’s just fun.”
DeBartolo, a former recipe developer for Disney’s Family Fun magazine, jumped into learning about ice cream with courses at Penn State. A longtime supporter of celebrating the culinary richness at our fingertips, in 2008 she founded and continues to lead the Cape’s Slow Food convivium. This is a local chapter of Slow Food, a global non-profit dedicated to the pleasures of the table, knowing where your food originates, and preserving the regionality of the foods around us.
The link between combining local foods with her frozen desserts will come full circle when DeBartolo realizes her quest to find a New England dairy to create the all natural bases for her frozen desserts using local milk.
“It hasn’t been easy as clearly there are no dairy farms on the Cape,” says DeBartolo. It’s more than just finding an able-bodied clan of milking cows. A vegetarian herself, DeBartolo’s holy grail was simple: a product lacking the gelatin stabilizers present in most dairy bases—gelatin sourced from animal hooves.
After over a year of pilgrimages to nearby states, she is close to launching an all-natural base from a Rhode Island farm. “There were lots of baby steps. I’ve met the farmer, I’ve met the cows.” says DeBartolo. Yet with several details remaining to tie up, it may still be a no-go.
What then? DeBartolo may soon be welcoming a few cows into the hood. One doesn’t doubt her when she says, “If push comes to shove, we’ll just make it ourselves!”
Supporting The Local Scoop’s wholesale alliances this season will be freezer cases emblazoned with Cape Cod Pops graphics. Stuffed with Cape Cod Pops, and dubbed “freezicles,” the first two will grace the Cape Cod Beer brewery in Hyannis and the Hole in One in Eastham, with more to come.
On the flip side, the local foods that The Local Scoop layers into their creations are all for sale displayed in cheery red cubbies near the checkout counter. Hole in One granola, E&T honey, preserves from Cape Cod Cranberry Harvest and Chatham Jam & Jelly, Cape Cod Beer Brittle, and Cabot’s Candy taffy join salts and sugars from The Cape Cod Flavor Company, Cape Cod Saltworks and Wellfleet Sea Salt. Sacks of The Art of Roasting coffee beans lay next to bars of fair trade chocolate from the Chequesett Chocolate Company and all natural caramels from McCrea’s.
“Now that we’re grounded in the store, we still needed a way to spread the word and say ‘Come and check us out!’,” says DeBartolo. She scrubbed a traditional voiceover ad and upped the ante in favor of banking on local talent.
Peter Kelly penned a ditty, and Sarah Swain of the group Sarah Swain and the Oh Boys lent both her young daughters and two of their buddies to perform. DBA the “Jingle Belles”, they sang while local musician and studio wiz Bruce Maclean produced. The sweet giggle at the end will leave you grinning.
Immensely proud of the efforts The Scoop makes to give back to the community, DeBartolo cites last year’s inaugural “CANstruction” in Orleans. Giant sculptures were assembled out of canned goods, with all food and monetary contributions donated to the The Lower Cape Outreach Council.
A longtime mini-golf aficionado, DeBartolo is installing a three-hole putt-putt in her outdoor seating area for the summer. All proceeds donated by patrons to play a few rounds of this very mini mini-golf will go to the 2014 “CANstruction” fund.
“It was my dream since I was a very little girl to open an ice cream shop, but life’s events got in the way and things scared me. Finally at this point in my life it was ‘now or never’ and even though it was hard, I had to jump into it,” says DeBartolo of her Local Scoop adventure.
“Somebody pinch me. It feels great!”
34 Route 6A, Orleans
Cape Cod Pops
Event-inspired concoctions often become “keepers”:
Buzz Pop: Homemade espresso frozen yogurt made with The Art of Roasting Sumatra, dipped in coffee coating and sprinkled with chocolate covered coffee beans.
Brew Pop: Homemade chocolate ice cream made with Cape Cod Beer Red ale, dipped in premium dark chocolate and sprinkled with Cape Cod Beer Brittle and Cape Cod Saltworks sea salt.
Vineyard Pop: Homemade cranberry ice cream made with Truro Vineyards’ Cranberry Red wine, dipped in premium dark chocolate, sprinkled with Wellfleet Sea Salt, Cape Cod Flavor Company cranberry sugar and Hole In One Midnight granola.