Austin Crittenden was a pretty typical Tufts student majoring in psychology, interning at MetLife and living in a fraternity house in the summer of 2012. That was until Crittenden had a classic light bulb moment.
“It was miserably hot outside and I wanted ice cream, but I was so exhausted,” Crittenden said, when the idea of ice cream delivery suddenly dawned on him. He wondered “Is that possible? Would it melt?”
After settling on the name Scoop N Scoot, inspired by Crittenden’s mode of transportation at the time, a motorcycle, he knew he had to give the business a shot.
“I came home on a mission,” Crittenden said. “If not now, then when?”
He recruited two fraternity brothers to help him with Scoop N Scoot (now called Scoop N Scootery), poured his savings into it and started working on the logistics of actually delivering ice cream.
Things were pretty chaotic at first, with Crittenden delivering Garelick ice cream sourced through the dining hall with a cooler bungee-corded to the back of his motorcycle. Scoop N Scoot didn’t have a website, just a sign in the window of Crittenden’s fraternity house alerting passersby that they could order ice cream.
After having some fun with Scoop N Scoot (and eating lots of ice cream), Crittenden and his business partners decided to get serious. They made a website, started some of the paperwork to legitimize the business and worked on perfecting their delivery method. They added new flavors of ice cream, varieties of frozen yogurt and lots of toppings. Crittenden started to think “Oh my god, this is real. This is actually possible.”
After getting on GrubHub and Foodler, Scoop N Scoot’s orders jumped from five a day to 25 a day. “We were not prepared, but we were so pumped. Ice cream’s flying. Toppings were everywhere,” Crittenden said.
Unfortunately, Scoop N Scoot still didn’t have all the necessary permits and paperwork filed so the business was shut down.
Crittenden was faced with a choice: go to grad school or really see whether his ice cream delivery idea had legs. His business partners decided on more traditional career paths, so Crittenden knew he’d be striking out on his own.
“I started to think ‘this is maybe what I want to do,'” Crittenden said. “I’ve never felt that feeling of being part of something. I never felt like I was meant to do something more.”
After nearly two years of securing investors, getting certifications and outfitting a truck, Crittenden’s dream of owning an ice cream delivery business was realized four weeks ago when he unveiled Scoop N Scootery to Somerville.
A lot has changed since Crittenden first started delivering ice cream on his motorcycle in 2012, but a few things have stayed the same: there is no minimum order and no delivery fee. Scoop N Scootery now sources ice cream and frozen yogurt from Richardson’s in nearby Middleton (Crittenden’s favorite flavor: purple cow fro-yo). The truck can be found parked at various locations in Somerville every day of the week and residents can order scoops and sundaes right to their door.
“The response has been great,” said Crittenden, who has enlisted a friend and his girlfriend to help him work the truck and deliveries. “It’s still very exciting. We’re doing better than I could have imagined.”
Crittenden originally hails from Chicago but knew he wanted to stay in Somerville after graduation to start his business. And he’s found not only the college community but the city as a whole very welcoming to his venture.
“The people here are wonderful and kind and are genuinely interested in other people,” Crittenden said. “They go out of their way to learn about small businesses. Everyone is a really close-knit community. Everyone is rooting for each other.”
Images courtesy of Scoop N Scootery.