Your Ice Cream Shop at Home: A Revolutionized At-H...

Your Ice Cream Shop at Home: A Revolutionized At-Home Ice Cream-Making Experience

Have you ever thought of creating your own Ben & Jerry’s or Häagen-Dazs flavor at home? You can! Moreover, you do not need to have much knowledge of how to make ice cream, nor do you have to use an ice cream maker at home. All you need to do is stir the mixer, add some of your favorite ingredients, and freeze it for a few hours. “True Scoops” will help you get your DIY ice cream ready at the snap of a finger, and it tastes just like the one you bought from the shops.

Photo / True Scoops

“True Scoops” is an innovative ice cream mix com- pany owned by two female friends, Kelly Williamson and Shelly Marshall. Within 5 minutes and two simple steps, they aim to give consumers a whole new homemade ice cream experience. There are three different base flavors in the line: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. These are the most basic and standard flavors of ice cream. So, with all three bases, people could make any custom flavors they want, from peanut butter to coffee and matcha. People can also add toppings or fillings like fruits, nuts, and chocolate chips. The idea is to let the consumers control what they want, and there is no limit to creating at-home ice cream.

“We’re delivering the ice cream shop experience to every household and pantry and getting them to be creative. We call ourselves the ‘Betty Crocker’ of ice cream because we’re breaking down ice cream and making it simple and easy to do. You don’t need an ice cream maker to make it. We have already seen many of our customers really getting creative in the kitchen and making their custom favorite flavors.” Said Marshall, the co-founder of True Scoops.

True Scoops is a classic silver-lining story duringCOVID-19. One of the co-founders, Shelly Marshall, is a veteran in the ice cream industry. Her own ice cream shop, Island Pops, which stands in the Crown Heights neighbor- hood in Brooklyn, New York, is already widely known in the area. The shop focuses on authentic Trinidadian ice cream and is beloved by locals.

However, during COVID-19, when Marshall was making ice cream with her kids in the kitchen, she realized how hard and time-consuming it is to make ice cream at home. She had to cook the milk, cream, eggs, and sugar first and let that sit overnight in the fridge. Then, she needed an ice cream maker to help churn the mixture better to ensure a more smooth and delicious taste. Apart from the specialty machine she needs to keep at home, especially for making ice cream, waiting can also be torturous. Marshall shared her memories. “My kids were really young at the time, so they didn’t understand that they had to wait a long time for homemade ice cream. At that time, I started to wonder why no one ever came up with something like a Betty Crocker or Duncan Heinz powdered mix that was dry and shelf stable.”

Photo / True Scoops

That is where the journey of “True Scoops” begins. However, between her kids and running her other ice cream business, Marshall didn’t have the time and effort to make it happen on her own. She reached out to her friend Kelly Williamson for a collaboration. The two of them first met at Penn State’s legendary ice cream course. Soon, they became best friends and now business partners. They have been working together, running tests to create the revolutionary new DIY ice cream product.

To start, they compared the ingredients behind premium ice cream and used the powdered version of those ingredients to make up the unique formula of their products. They also replaced heavy cream with sweet cream powder, milk for non-fat dry milk powder, and eggs for guar gum. In that way, their mixture can be easily made into “re- al-taste” ice cream without using an ice cream maker or overnight waiting while it still can be a shelf-stable product that lasts up to 18 months in the pantry. However, achieving this goal wasn’t easy. The biggest obstacle, as Marshall told me, is “getting the consistency, the taste, and the texture”.

There are two crucial things for ice cream: air and fat. Air comes from the churn on high speed with a mixer. And when it’s frozen, it is the actual ice cream. On the other hand, fat is also a critical element that influences the taste and texture. Only when you have the right amount and good quality fat can it becomes premium ice cream. Nevertheless, many powders, because they have a few stabilizers, it can- not make up the same amount of fat content from fresh ingredients to form a tasty ice cream.

“We have multiple rounds with the food scientists to get the taste and the texture right. After the 100th version, we were able to get it where it turned out to be the real premium ice cream after you mix it up. This is our first version, which is dairy, getting it where it has the right balance of fat and consists.” Said Marshall. When the con- sumers receive the True Scoops packaging, they will get a pint container with all the ingredients. All they need to do is blend the ice cream mix – minus half & half, add any other elements they want, and pour it back into the pint container. After a few hours in the freezer, they are able to indulge in their own creation.

This is probably a game-changer for at-home ice cream experience. It is the first brand that is taking ice cream out of the freezer and into the pantry. Moreover, the product itself is super light and can be held for up to 18 months on shelves. It does not need expensive cold-chain transporta- tion. On top of that, the ingredients in it are all natural. Consumers can customize it in any way they want, even making milkshakes with it.

Photo / True Scoops

After launching in 2021, the “True Scoops” has already been welcomed by many customers. You can now see it on big e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. Marshall told us that the target audience for True Scoops is millennial parents with children from 4 to 12. These are the moms and dads who are baking and cooking in the kitchen with the kids, making cookies and brownies and cupcakes. “We’re targeting this audience because they’re already doing all the things that we love to do with our kids. It was really, really fun to see people being creative in something that they couldn’t have done before because they just didn’t have the time.” Said Marshall.

COVID-19 is helping grow the idea of making your own food and spending more time with family at home. New re- search on Food Research International by a group of scientists studied how COVID-19 pandemic has affected food-related behaviors. The report shows that 40% of consumers report having changed food-related behaviors during COVID-19, and most consumers report enjoying cooking and family meals more than before. A report by CNBC also made the conclusion that Americans have made more meals at home, expanded their palates with new flavors, and gravitated to- ward premium items as an indulgence or healthier option during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic created the space for people to be able to be creative and make new things, but seldom do we see people making too much ice cream during the pandemic because it just takes too much time. True Scoops is going to fill the blank. “Now people can also make ice cream, which they couldn’t have done before because the process was not friendly. We decided that we wanted to make it easy for them to make all these creative things and really bond with the kids. Our mission as a brand is to bring family and friends together in the kitchen and do it creatively through ice cream. And we want them to have fun with it.” Marshall told us.

Thanks to the pandemic, people are now picking up the idea of making ice cream at home with True Scoops’ genius new products.

However, for many people, it is still quite challenging to believe that powders can turn into real taste ice cream. Marshall told us that they heavily rely on social media for promotion to get people to know them. As a start-up company, they inevitably have a limited marketing budget for extensive campaigns. Social media, especially influencer marketing, is an excellent tool for them to spread the word. “It’s a product that you have to see being made then you would realize how genius it is. Therefore, we’re using a lot of influencers to push the products. We have an affiliate program now, where our affiliates and ambassadors are driving awareness to the product.” Said Marshall.

Marshall told us they have a lot of business books in corporate gifting, adding their ice cream mixes to their boxes. They have worked on a lot of brand collaborations with other brands to help customers make the best understanding and use of their products as well. For example, they have teamed up with the scrumptious dessert topping brand Yum Crumbs. Yum Crumbs has a wide array of crumb and candy dessert toppings to enhance both the taste and texture of all kinds of treats with a touch of decor or a hint of complementing flavors. For each month, customers will receive a free gift in each of the True Scoops packages with different prepared flavors. For instance, a customized mint chocolate chip pint will include not only the True Scoops ice cream mixer but also the chocolate chips on the side. In this way, customers can make their customized pint without all the fuss of searching for the chocolate chips. Gifting the customers helps them explore the possibilities with True Scoops.

Talking about the future plan, Marshall shared that they are planning on creating a sugar-free mix and vegan mix so that more people can enjoy making ice cream by themselves at home. Even though this will not be going to happen anytime soon, that will be the next big thing for the brand.

Photo / True Scoops

From Island Pops to True Scoops, Marshall always has this passion for creating new ice cream experiences for people. She puts her craving for the ice treats into something everyone can enjoy with her business partner, Williamson. As a women-owned, black-led start-up, True Scoops brings one of the most beloved desserts in the US to every household to help mums and dads and their kids DIY together. It’s just a matter of time before True Scoops go viral. “I believe it will happen for us sometime soon. We’re waiting for that viral moment where people see how genius it is.” Marshall said confidently. This summer True Scoops has launched its Kickstarter campaign to start production for the brand’s new DIY pints hitting shelves. The $15K campaign will support the second chapter of the company that is known for producing ice cream mixes in the baking aisle – now known as “The Maker Aisle” – at grocery stores across America. With all the new progress and robust groundbreaking ideas itself, it is hard not to believe that True Scoops won’t go viral any time soon.