An interview with Terry McCabe, Owner of Scoops
What led you to open Scoops in Chatham?
I grew up in Chatham, and raised my family here. I owned Chatham Sports Shop for 20 years, which was a great experience. Unfortunately, the retail sporting goods world has become a lot more difficult in the last few years, so I decided it was time for a change. When my daughter was younger, we loved going to the ice cream shop that used to be on Main Street after her softball games, but there was never a place to enjoy our ice cream with a group. When I saw that the space on the corner (Scoops current location) was available, I knew it would be perfect.
How long had you been running Scoops before COVID changed how Chatham did business?
We opened in September 2019, so we were 6 months into running Scoops when COVID-19 hit and everything shut down. Suddenly we couldn’t have customers in the store, and people were understandably worried about going anywhere.
How did you handle that change?
We realized that even though they couldn’t come to our store, people still needed something fun and delicious. So we started offering out Sunday Kits: with 2 pints of ice cream, 4 toppings and 4 cones. Customers could call in their orders, then we’d run the kits out to their cars and they could enjoy our ice cream at home, safely. That idea really got us through the first few months of the shutdown.
What lessons have you learned over the past year?
Make the most of what you’ve got! After the weather began warming up last Spring, we decided to use our location on the corner, next to the park near the Chatham Library, to our advantage.
Since customers still weren’t allowed in the store, we added our “walk up window.” Now they could walk up, order, pay and get their ice cream, all outside and socially distanced. We made it convenient for people, and they started coming. We added lights and some tables in the park outside, to set up a nice area for people to eat. And not just ice cream – it’s really become a gathering spot for families and friends looking for someplace outside to enjoy a snack or a meal together.
In all my years in Chatham, this area was always underused. I’m thrilled we’ve been able to make it a destination for our friends and neighbors. It’s a little something good that’s come out of the last year.
Head to chathamscoops.com to learn more about Scoops’ world famous ice cream!