by Moira Cullings
OVERLAND PARK — When you walk into an ice cream shop, you can count on enjoying a tasty treat.
But when you walk into The Golden Scoop, it will be more than just that. It will be an experience of joy, according to its owners.
“You never know what you’re going to see or hear,” said Amber Schreiber, president and CEO of The Golden Scoop.
“You’ll hear Disney music one day,” she said. “You’ll probably hear some other theater-type music the next.
“It’s going to be a very joyful place to come to. You come in, maybe it’s been a bad day, and you walk out with a huge smile on your face.”
The Golden Scoop is an ice cream shop that provides meaningful employment for individuals with developmental disabilities. It’s scheduled to open this coming January at 95th and Nall in Overland Park.
The idea to start a business designed to employ those with developmental disabilities came from Schreiber’s sister Lindsay Krumbholz, vice president and director of programs and volunteer management at The Golden Scoop.
Both women attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park.
Krumbholz has some 17 years of experience working with children and young adults with special needs.
“After talking to parents about when their kids aged out of the 18- to 21-year-old program [that helps individuals with disabilities], they were concerned if they would work and where they would live,” said Krumbholz.
Their worries weren’t unjustified.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 80% of people with a disability were not in the work force in 2019.
“That is a very staggering statistic,” said Schreiber, “and that’s why we’re taking action.”
Krumbholz was already intrigued by the possibility of creating employment opportunities for these individuals in Kansas City. When she heard about successful businesses like Bitty and Beau’s Coffee on the East Coast and Howdy Homemade Ice Cream in Dallas, she decided it was time for her to make her dream a reality.
Krumbholz reached out to Schreiber, who has a background in IT project management, business analysis and operations. She also worked as the alumni director for Aquinas, which refined her fundraising and development skills.
After much effort, Schreiber created a business plan for The Golden Scoop.
The final piece of the puzzle came when Michelle Reeves joined the team.
Vice president and director of culinary and creative, Reeves not only has experience working at a nonprofit with individuals who have disabilities, but she also has a background in catering.
“She’s very gifted at what she does,” said Schreiber.
Reeves will create all the ice cream flavors with help from The Golden Scoop employees, known as “Super Scoopers,” who will also have the chance to create flavors of the month.
Krumbholz has been able to hire around 17 “Super Scoopers” through her connections in the Kansas City community, particularly the Golden Stars, a dance class attended by individuals with developmental disabilities.
One is Charlie, who currently works at Culver’s and will manage to do both jobs once The Golden Scoop opens. He is most excited about working with his friends and trying out the ice cream.
Another is Trey, who was the first individual Krumbholz worked with during her time in the Olathe school district.
“I still keep in touch with him today,” said Krumbholz. “I’m super-excited he’s a part of it. He’s the reason I’m doing what I’m doing.”
Both Krumbholz and Schreiber say their Catholic school upbringing helped form their desire to give back to the community.
“I think through all of the community service work that we were able to do while at Aquinas, that really helped [us] see the need that’s out there to help different organizations and people,” said Krumbholz.
“The values that Aquinas and Catholic schools bring to a student’s life in general really instill that service aspect and carry on for the rest of your life,” agreed Schreiber.
Krumbholz looks forward to the day The Golden Scoop opens and the Kansas City community gets to benefit from interacting with its employees.
“These individuals will definitely brighten your day,” she said.
For more information or to donate to The Golden Scoop, visit the website at: thegoldenscoop.org.
Support The Golden Scoop through an upcoming fundraiser
The Golden Scoop is hosting its first fundraiser on Oct. 24 from 3-5 p.m. at its coffee partner’s location: Hattie’s Fine Coffee in Prairie Village. Attendees can try a custom-blend coffee created by Hattie for The Golden Scoop. The coffee will be for sale in small and large bags, and Golden Scoop T-shirts will also be available for purchase. “Super Scooper” Patrick will play guitar and all proceeds will go back to the mission of employing and paying the “Super Scoopers.”