NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Scooptopia opens in Lawrence

Scooptopia has a barn theme and serves many frozen treats.

 As you walk in through Entrance K at NECC’s campus at Riverwalk, just down the hall is the newly opened Scooptopia. Greeted by bright colors and an outdoorsy theme, Scooptopia offers a variety of ice creams, gelato, and sorbetto all homemade!

Owners’ Karen Small and her husband Frank opened Scooptopia in 2011 where it originated in Downtown Java Joe’s at Methuen Square in Methuen, Mass. 

They had a one year lease in Downtown Java Joe’s, and left when the lease was up and the shop then became Gemma’s Cafe.

Since they left, Karen and Frank never stopped looking for a place to reopen their business. 

“We never left the business, we just had no place to go. We had all of our equipment, and were just keeping our options open,” says Karen.

Karen came upon the space where the Coffee Cann used to be. It was a decent size area, and had the amenities that could fit their equipment.

“I saw the space, talked to my husband, then contacted The Riverwalk to lease the space,” says Small.

Right away Karen and her husband got to work, and construction went underway in January. 

“My husband sketched out what we wanted. A farm theme with green grass,” says Small.

They hired an architect who helped to find a tin roof and reclaimed wood. They put it together and it turned out the way Karen and Frank wanted it to be. 

When first walking into Scooptopia the customer is greeted by the counter in the form of a barn with the tin roof stretching outward,  and with  wood above. 

Surrounding the walls is wood, and to the left is what appears to be a barn window. To the right is a mural of an ice cream sundae floating down a chocolate river with mint chocolate chip grasses. 

Above the barn is blue paint to represent the sky, and green tile to represent grass. A cheerful and happy atmosphere.

“We wanted to bring the outside indoors, and it was lots of fun designing and putting it all together,” says Small.

Scooptopia finally opened in the beginning of summer in June. The hours of operation as of right now are Monday through Friday noon to 8 p.m.

“In the future, we hope to expand to the weekend, but as of right now we are holding steady,” says Small.

Scooptopia offers many different flavors of ice creams, sorbetto, and gelatos. The flavors are always changing month to month to keep it fresh, but will always have the basics such as chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. 

There are also specials during the months. This October, Scooptopia is offering Caramel Apple,Candy Corn, Pumpkin Whoopie Pie, Sweet Potato Marshmallow, and possibly Roasted Garlic.

“We are working on a Surprise Trick-O-Treat Bag flavor. It will be everything you would normally get in a trick-o-treat bag such as Hershey’s, Kit Kat, M&M’s, Milky Way, and so on. It is just finding the right flavors with it not being too much,” explains Small.

Scooptopia gets their ingredients locally, and internationally. 

“We get our whoopie pies, and fruits from Mann’s Orchard, for the sorbetto and our whoopie pie flavor. The rest of our gelato material is imported from Italy,” says Small.

Many people do not know the difference between the three frozen treats. Ice cream is made with cream, unlike gelato which is made with milk. 

Some people believe that sorbet, and sorbetto are the same thing, but they are not. Sorbet is made with milk, and sorbetto is fat free and dairy free, made with water and fruit. The menu offers gluten free treats which are marked by a pink star next to the name of the flavor.

The prices are reasonable for students, staff, and outside patrons who come in. A small gelato priced at $3.50 and a small ice cream, or sorbetto priced at $4.25. With reasonable quantities, they offer a small sample spoon to try out their different flavors.

“I want this shop to be different. I want to stand out, that’s why I’m always trying to make new different flavors such as Roasted Garlic, Biscotti, and Dill Pickle.  It’s a unique process, but it is a lot of trial and error,” says Small.

Reopening Scooptopia, has been a fun process for Karen and Frank. It took lots of effort, but they’re now being rewarded for the hard work.

“I love owning the shop, seeing the customers, and catering to their needs,” says Small. 

Scooptopia is located in the Riverwalk at Entrance K down a short hallway.

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