I’m providing a tasty adjunct with my Sip And Scoop gourmet ice trailer. We are serving high-quality Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice for discriminating lovers of these cool-desserts. We are also providing a mobile source for aficionados of gourmet coffee, proudly serving Antioch’s Big House Beans Coffee with product prepared by the owner and professional coffee roaster, John Krause. He has created an outstanding product with a taste that our clients have described as phenomenal.
Our Sip And Scoop business not only offers gourmet-level products, but we begin the fun experience right at the start when our guests get their first look at the menu. Mustache Mike offers 100 flavor choices but we have carefully chosen ten that would most appeal to our demographic. Few of our guests will limit themselves to a single flavor; they love the challenge of mixing and matching flavors to create some unique taste sensation, though enough of them have discovered the taste appeal of our “Blue Raspberry” and our root beer and vanilla flavored “Root Beer Float” to make them two of our five most common flavors.
We have created three standard mixes and have given them names that are as colorful as the drinks themselves in order to attract the attention of our younger guests. It is fun to watch their amusement at a drink called “Big Daddy,” which combines orange, cherry, and pineapple juices. The “Juicy Rancher” is a mixture of watermelon, sour apple, and lemon. We create the colors in our popular red, white, and blue “Da Bomb” drink with cherry, lemon, and blue raspberry juices.
We keep experimenting to find the product choices that are most suitable for our guests and are currently experimenting with a line of premium teas to go along with our gourmet coffees. We also offer Paninis upon request for clients who want us to offer a light meal.
People are learning to choose Sip And Scoop as a preferred way of entertaining and serving their clients and guests because we offer a quality experience ensured by extraordinary levels of service. Clients quickly learn to trust our high levels of quality, cleanliness, and friendliness.
Our Sip And Scoop trailer is available for any reception, party, celebration, or event of any other kind. This is more than merely a way for me to make money, because I enjoy using our trailer as a resource to help promote businesses and contribute to their success by increasing foot-traffic around their establishments. We are glad to show up at whatever grand openings, ribbon cuttings, or sidewalk fairs a small business might be hosting. We sometimes offer complimentary product samples, which of course promotes our business while we are helping the host business succeed.
We also participate in two of the festive food truck events that are going on around East County. Every week, for example, we gather with a half-dozen gourmet food trucks at the Antioch Community Center for the “Antioch Food Trucks Thursday.” The first event was June 15, and more than a thousand people showed up. On the second Wednesday of each month we also join Discovery Bay’s Food Truck Roundup. These are wonderful community events, because residents gather to have some food, visit and hang out with each other, meeting old friends, making new friends, and just having a time of warm fellowship. I love being part of that heart-warming social event. Attendees sometimes make new friends while standing together in food lines and chatting with each other.
A BUSINESS OF SERVING ITALIAN ICE AND THE COMMUNITY
I’ve always had a heart for service and have served the community in whatever ways I could. For example, I was a classroom volunteer at Krey Elementary while some of my kids were going to school and coordinated the production of their elementary school yearbook. Seven years ago I was a co-founder of the Mom’s Together group at my Cornerstone Church.
By the grace of God plus receptivity by the community and through a lot of hard work, Sip And Scoop has been profitable enough so that we are able to offer products and services at reduced costs for events and fundraisers hosted by nonprofits, schools, and chambers of commerce. Last year, for example, we provided discount-priced breakfasts for Teacher Appreciation Day events at four different public schools in Brentwood.
Doing any business from a heart filled with kind intentions and love provides rewards far more substantial and enduring than mere profits. I continually validate Jesus’ teaching that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Not long ago I provided my services pro bono to underserved children who had gathered for a Literacy Camp experience at Brentwood’s Village Resource Center. The kids’ faces would light up when they saw my Free Italian Ice signs. I imagine they have mostly forgotten the delight of the cool ice in their parched throats (the temperature was pushing 100 degrees), but I will never forget the joy that flooded my heart when I saw those small faces break out into those warm grins and realized that I had been the agent of the happiness that they were experiencing at the time.
I grew up on a Kansas farm. My father raised pigs and chickens. Hank Williams reminded us that “Country Folks Can Survive.” Dad was a hard worker, but never sold many pigs and chickens because “survive” was about the best we did in those days. Each summer my four siblings and I would get blisters and sunburns hoeing corn and soybeans in our neighbors’ truck farms.
I’m grateful beyond measure for a dad who by both precept and example taught the importance of hard work, but I am also grateful for my memories of the various ways that local organizations and people pitched in to help us and the other struggling families in the community. It never felt like handouts; we were never made to feel like we were charity cases. Community service was guided by the principle that we just helped each other out in whatever ways we could. We weren’t just takers; we ourselves helped other people when we could.
My husband Josh Little and I have five children with ages ranging from seven to nineteen. They are into a variety of passions including art, photography and videography, becoming a public school teacher, a medical doctor, travel baseball, and soccer. Sip And Scoop came out of my desire to have flexibility in my schedule so that I could attend the kids’ school events and sports, plus schedule days of vacation whenever the impulse came to do so. Sip And Scoop has become a family affair. The children willingly help the business in whatever ways they can. I am so pleased that they are now learning lessons about hard work that my father so effectively taught to my siblings and me.
My husband Josh is my biggest supporter. He never thinks I’m crazy when I come up with my out-of-the-box ideas. He never asks “Why?” but simply says, “What do you need me to do?” Sip And Scoop would never have succeeded without his support. In fact, it was his brainchild in the first place. The actual idea came to us while Josh and I were lying in bed together and eating Italian Ice — two of our favorite pastimes. We were talking about how I could make money when Josh suddenly said, “You should sell Italian Ice.” He contacted a business in Dublin he knew about that had three trucks, learned about the business, contacted Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice, and discovered it was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.
Josh is a “get ’er done” kind of person and within a week we were owners of an ice cream cart. For four months we sold Italian Ice out of that rig, but realized that we needed something that would get us out of the sun. Also, a cart is limited to the summer months, and we wanted something that we could use year ’round. Josh began looking in October and the day after Thanksgiving he bought a trailer from an elderly gentlemen who had recently retired. We changed the graphics and came up with our Sip And Scoop California name to indicate that we would be selling other products besides the ice.
We wanted to add a premium coffee service and were delighted to do business with John Krause, an amazing person, and to add his Big House Beans Coffee products to our menu. John leased us a professional espresso machine and grinder and we struck out with our wintertime products last March beginning with Brentwood PAL’s Menudo Fest fundraiser.
I am proud of my superior products and service. Sip And Scoop richly deserves the 5-star ratings on our Facebook Page. Here are some unsolicited comments: “The coffee was delicious, and the Italian Ice is better than any we have ever had! Great customer service, with fantastic variety in goodies! All the kids loved all the different flavors of Italian Ice.”
“I’ve attended a few events where the Sip and Scoop truck has been there and I have never been disappointed!! The owner is so sweet and the girls she has working on the truck are also great.”
“Definitely would recommend them for any function/party for yourself or friends!”
“I look forward to Friday morning visits from the Vanilla Latte fairy!”
“The kids loved cooling down with this sweet treat. All the flavors were delicious (yes, I tried them all)! And Vicky was so easy and friendly to work with. I would highly recommend this small local business for any event, fundraiser, or party.”
I am in the process of becoming a member of the Rotary Club of Brentwood, which will expand my opportunities of giving back from the gifts I have received in the past as well as paying forward from the blessings that flow into my life every day. I can’t contribute a lot of money, but I am giving a service that puts smiles on people’s faces, both children and adults.
Check our schedule on our Facebook page. When you get a chance, c’mon by. I’ll serve you a delicious dessert!