The doors of The Scoop Company may only have been open for a few weeks but owners Maria and Andy Grey have already received fantastic support from the Warlingham community. This comes, in the most part, from the energy and enthusiasm they have put into creating a uniquely stunning and fun location filled with delicious treats, but also because they are locals themselves, having lived here for six years and with friend and family connections to the area for many more before that.
The Scoop Company has been a natural career progression for Maria: she was a regular behind the counter of her dad’s ice cream van from a young age, thriving on the interactions with customers. And a third generation may one day head into the business too, as the couple’s two sons, 12 and 6, are, unsurprisingly, always keen to spend time at their parents’ new venture!
Despite the focus on ice cream – 36 flavours and counting – The Scoop Company is a fully-fledged dessert parlour with a large range of freshly baked goods (most of which come from local bakers) design-your-own milkshakes, sorbets, gelatos and more. They use a local roaster for their speciality coffee, and there’s even doggie ice cream for canine visitors!
Maria says that their priority is making sure that there’s something for everybody:
“We can’t bear to see anybody miss out because of dietary requirements or allergies, so we’ve always got dairy-free, gluten-free, soya-free and vegan options, and we have a counter that is nut-free from factory level as well.”
Looking to make the business as eco-friendly as possible, Maria explains: “Our coffee cups, lids, straws and trays are compostable and we also sell reusable cups. Whenever we source something new, we look for the most sustainable choice, and we recycle everything we can.”
The Scoop Company will soon feature on food delivery sites such as Just Eat and Deliveroo, allowing the in-parlour experience to come to you if you are unable to get to them. The couple are currently working with a designer to create packaging that will not only keep your desserts at the perfect temperature, but will also look beautiful when it arrives at your door. Andy says they try to source UK suppliers for projects like this:
“It’s important for us to support the country’s economy, as well as to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.”
The couple have innovative plans to update the menus throughout the year to reflect the changing seasons.
“For example,” says Andy, “when you think of autumn, your mind turns to warmer colours, like reds and oranges. So our menu from October may include ice cream flavours such as chocolate orange, pumpkin pie and cinnamon, and we’ll change up our cookie doughs and candy flosses to match.”
“In winter there might be gingerbread, apple crumble with infused custard, and warm, runny chocolate to pour over ice cream, perfect for those colder days!”
Customers will also notice subtle alterations to the decor. As the festive months get underway, the interior will be given a snowy update. The faux cherry blossom tree that Andy envisions adorning the patio will be wrapped in fairy lights to look like a Christmas tree. And an awning, heater and soft blankets will allow people to tuck into their goodies outside, even when the weather turns chilly.
While starting any new business is hard work, Maria and Andy agree it has definitely been worthwhile:
“The best reward we have is to see people enjoying themselves: the excited look on children’s faces when they walk in and see all the ice creams is wonderful!”