Noticing Neighbors - The Golden Scoop
It goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: We would all LOVE to hear some good news. There are lots of exciting people in our community that deserve to be Noticed for all the good they’re bringing to our area, and so this year we’re making time for #NoticingNeighbors. First up, we want to shine a spotlight on a local dream that is about to come true in February. Meet The Golden Scoop! I got the chance to talk with one of the owners, Michelle, about how this is going to be an especially bright spot in the community.
Hayley: I need to tell you- I am SO excited to feature you and share your beautiful new place on our blog. Thank you for your heart!
For our readers who may not know yet, what is The Golden Scoop? And where are you located?
The Golden Scoop is a non-profit ice cream and coffee shop that employs AND pays individuals with developmental disabilities.
We are currently in the build out phase and hope to open by the beginning of February. We’re located at: 📍 The Golden Scoop
9540 Nall Avenue Overland Park, KS Hayley: We will be sure to keep everyone updated when you open. What a great idea. Where did the idea for The Golden Scoop come from? Michelle: Lindsay, our Vice President and Director of Programs, has had this idea mulling around for a couple of years. There is a coffee shop business based on the east coast that employs individuals with developmental disabilities, and an ice cream shop in Texas that does the same thing. We just married the two!
When did you know that this dream could become real? Michelle: Lindsay and I worked together at another non-profit that provided job skills for this community, and we just knew we could take it to the next level. Then Lindsay's sister, Amber (the third founder!), has an MBA. We just decided that there was nothing holding us back, and went for it.
Hayley: Have you seen a ripple effect from when you first started the process of opening The Golden Scoop to now?
Oh my gosh yes! Covid has provided so many challenges with how long some of the process has taken, and hampered our fundraising efforts a bit. But, what it has not done is stopped our momentum. So many folks are tired of hearing about the economy, the election aftermath, COVID, and other bad news. The Golden Scoop has been a bright spot for our community and we have certainly felt the love. You can visit our Super Scoopers (our rock star employees) and just feel good and happy!
Hayley: I love that, and we’re so thankful for you and your mission. What part of this journey has been a joy for you?
We always say this, but our Super Scoopers are so talented and so joyous to be around. We are just so excited for the community to come in, meet them, and see how incredibly gifted they are!
Hayley: One thing I love is the way you share all the Scoopers different talents on Instagram. What are some names of the Scoopers, and what activities do they enjoy? Michelle: Oh gosh, let's see… there’s Patrick, who we posted about today on Instagram. He is a very talented ukulele player.
Paige is an amazing dancer that teaches classes she also loves to sing. Lucy is a talented dancer who competes with her partner. Trey has the most astonishing memory recall that any customer who comes in he will remember their order and birthday. They all have such special gifts, and I could go on and on. At the end of the day, they will all put a smile on our customer's face which is the best talent of all!
Can’t wait to see them behind the counter. They sound like such an amazing team.
Michelle: We love our amazing Super Scoopers. We are very proud of our innovative approach to employment, it all starts and ends with our super scoopers. Our staff will have rotations (if they wish) of different tasks, that way we can help them excel at what they truly love.
Hayley: Can you tell me more about what strategies you've used in the hiring process?
To be honest, the hiring process has been all too easy. We have already had more than 40 families reach out for employment for their loved ones. Our problem will be making sure we can hire as many Super Scoopers as possible.
Hayley: Did you innovate the interview process to see the strengths and get to the heart of the Scooper in any new way?
Interviewing can be a bit challenging during this pandemic, luckily for us we have known some of our Super Scooper team for a while.
Also, there is a dance group in town called The Golden Stars, made up primarily of individuals with developmental disabilities. They make up a number of our employees. For us, the interview process is really more of an open dialogue established in an effort to set up our Super Scooper for the most success. Hayley: What is your hope for our local community in 2021?
Our ultimate goal, besides a couple more locations, is that other businesses see how talented and capable our Super Scoopers are and heed the call to hire this severely underemployed group of individuals.
Hayley: It’s definitely going to demonstrate that. I want to tell you, we are so thankful for you and so excited to come share some smiles and meet your team when you open. Is there anything on your heart you'd like to share that I didn't ask? Michelle: Just a big heartfelt thank you for sharing our story. The Golden Scoop would not become a reality without our community support. We need generous folks telling everyone about us and coming to see us when we are open.
Hayley: How can our readers at The Noticed Network support you all?
Can’t wait to stop by!