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Q&A: Scoopin' Yummies

By Jessica Maurer, posted Feb 24, 2021
Scoopin’ Yummies is at 1206 N. Lake Park Blvd. in Carolina Beach. (File photo)
The Greater Wilmington Business Journal spoke with Eric Kent Reid, owner of Scoopin’ Yummies of Carolina Beach, about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and his hopes for the coming summer season. 

GWBJ: You went straight from your first off-season into the COVID-19 pandemic. How has the pandemic impacted your business over the past year?

Reid: "It’s been a tough year. The store opened in June 2019, had an exciting first summer and developed a following with locals and frequent out-of-town visitors. I knew the first off-season would be tough as a new business and had made plans to weather through it. Like everyone else, the pandemic hit hard. A lot of what I learned in the first seven months of business was useless at this point. It was like starting over.

"Finding supplies that were in shortage, meeting order minimums, practically zero payroll budget to work with. Everything was examined to see where changes could be made that would streamline the business and still produce the desired result. And that was very hard considering the store itself is a big part of the 'wow' factor.

"Shutting the doors to a bright, colorful, candy store and milkshake shop from mid-March through May was devastating, but there was nothing to do except reach down deep and dig in in order to pull through."

GWBJ: Despite the hardships, have there been any positive outcomes?

Reid: "We also learned from it. I learned how to deal with uncertainty, changing markets and how to develop new business practices."

GWBJ: You recently did some sprucing up around the shop in anticipation of the summer season. What kinds of changes have you made?

Reid: "I recently made a few cosmetic changes to the store. An entire wall has become a chalkboard for our specialty milkshakes. This gives the customer a better look at the different ways that the shakes are built and which products are used to make our delicious creations.

"Our bulk gummy candy selection has dramatically increased with the addition of more shelving and countertop space. It kind of comes from a gummy obsession. Everything has been deep-cleaned and the floors have been refinished."

GWBJ: Have you developed a local following that helped carry you through the off-season? 

Reid: "We are beginning to see more new faces. It’s amazing how many locals I meet every day that are new to the shop. As the weather gets warmer, we anticipate more visitors to frequent our store as first-time guests and returning friends."

GWBJ: What are your hopes for the summer season? Do you anticipate a return to pre-COVID sales? 

Reid:  "We are planning for a busy summer and still have much to do. With only having one summer season (2019) under our belt, it's hard to say where we should be. At the same time we are seeing some signs that give us reason to believe that we will have a great summer of 2021."

GWBJ:  Do you still have the cotton candy bar in addition to the candy, soda and ice cream? 

Reid:  "We still have the cotton candy bar. It’s a customer favorite. Folks love that they can get multiple flavors like birthday cake, watermelon and strawberry. It looks like new equipment will be in order for us to keep up with the demand." 

GWBJ:  Are there any new menu items or retail items planned for the coming season? 

Reid: "I am adding lots of new milkshakes to the menu. Our sundaes and milkshakes are real crowd-pleasers. It’s a job in itself to push the creative bar on that. Our newest one is a little spicy, with a chocolate-covered jalapeno on top. A new float menu is in the works as well…think zombies, shark attacks and more!"

GWBJ: How many flavors of ice cream will you carry in the summer season?

Reid: "I just partnered with Chocolate Shoppe out of Wisconsin. Their ice cream is amazing; you really get the Wisconsin dairy flavor from it. And they use premium ingredients like Oreos, grasshopper cookies, Andes Mints, etc. We still carry some Hershey’s favorites as well and will have 24-plus flavors come spring."

Scoopin’ Yummies is at 1206 N. Lake Park Blvd. in Carolina Beach and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m.

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