By Dirk Perrefort The News-Times, Danbury, Conn.
Concerns over what their children were eating from the ice cream truck has prompted two local mothers to start their own enterprise serving treats with "ingredients you can pronounce."
"It all started one summer, when we took the kids to the beach at Cape Cod," said Carin Crook, one of the two founders of Natural Scoop. "My daughter wanted to get a treat from the ice cream truck. I was shocked to discover that every item on the truck was filled with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and all sorts of other junk people can't pronounce."
Kirstin Cerulli, her business partner, had a similar experience with frozen treats and her children.
"Every year, we'd buy new swimsuits for the kids, and one ice cream treat later and their new suit would be stained for the rest of the season," she said. "I was starting to wonder what it was doing to their insides. Then I changed my son's diaper and it was blue. It was very alarming."
Using their corporate marketing backgrounds, the mothers decided to launch their own enterprise of ice cream treats made entirely from natural ingredients without artificial additives. They started this past spring, when they purchased a used freezer cart, created the branding through the assistance of the Langdon Cherubino Group in New York City, and began selling frozen ice cream treats at their children's school's annual picnic.
While the businesswomen had considered making their own treats, they eventually decided to use brands already on the market that people were familiar with, including So Delicious, Coconut Bliss and People's Pops.
"Not only did we sell out, but there were 336 people who were eating treats that were much healthier than they would have had otherwise," Crook said. "That's our goal, to change the way people eat treats."
The entrepreneurs launched a Kickstarter campaign last month and raised more than $8,000 for the endeavor. They plan to use the money to purchase a used ice cream truck. Eventually, they want to franchise the business.
"Using Kickstarter was really an amazing experience," Crook said. "It really launched the business and made us a legitimate enterprise. Besides the financial contributions, we also received tons of well wishes from people, including four who want to have our first franchise. We are really excited about the future."