By Jeff Holt
Published March 11, 2021 in The Burg
The official name of it is: Scoop Ice Cream Parlor/Cool Beans Coffee Lounge.
Not too many people have probably heard too much about it - located on the main road of Abingdon (Route 41, 407 Monroe St.) and it opened up in June of 2019. The locals in Abingdon think of it across from Harding Grade School.
The drive from Galesburg is no more than 15 minutes away and even closer if you live in the Lake Bracken area. They have a drive-thru and an inside area that has that "next level" feel to it.
For several years, the Galesburg residents would travel the extra mile to top-notch places like
Cerar's Barnstormer & Catering in Monmouth. And the last couple of years, they have traveled to Big Catz BBQ in Knoxville.
So now, as the pandemic appears to be fading away and things are loosening up, it will be interesting to see how the Galesburg residents respond to another top-notch restaurant (ice cream shop/coffee house) just outside of Galesburg.
They have 11 employees and it seats 60 people at full capacity, with a big-screen TV and even a fireplace.
Terry Colwell, who runs it with his wife, took some time to answer a couple of questions.
Q: There is quite a history of ice cream shops in Abingdon. How did you come up with the idea?
TERRY: Since we could remember there has always been somewhere to get ice cream in our community. The Cone Shoppe and then our kids like many others continued with Quinn's before games after practices and even open lunch hours. A few years after Quinn's burned down we saw an opportunity and had vacant building space on Route 41, so we decided to create a nice place where families could come and create their own memories. We enjoy knowing where everyone is from and how they heard about us.
Q: "The ice cream and coffee destination" seems to be your mission statement. Could you elaborate on what you try to offer for the local residents?
TERRY: We had The Scoop opened about 6 months and knew beyond that we have always enjoyed stopping at various coffee shops in our travels. We decided to create a warm and relaxing space where friends could gather and catch up with each other. The drive thru is connected to both. When COVID hit last Spring we had to close our lobbies just 1 month after fully opening. We really don't know what normal will be, but are appreciative and very happy to see people using our space as we envisioned.
Q: The uniqueness of your ice cream is a neat story. Could you talk about that?
TERRY: We knew we wanted to offer more than single flavors with candy added so we started looking for something more. We taste tested many and almost pulled the trigger on a few different national brands. The ice cream we wanted to offer had to make people want to come back again and again and try another flavor. We ordered samples from this little company in Florida and absolutely loved every single sample they sent. Now we have families come in and discover some of the flavors that they had only experienced while vacationing in Florida. "C" is for Cookie and Butterscotch Bomb are a couple that stick out in their minds.
Q: If someone has never eaten at your ice cream shop, what would you say to them?
TERRY: We welcome them to try a few different flavors before they stick to their old faithful. We also offer a sampler of 5 or 7 mini scoops of several different flavors.
Q: You mentioned that you have had people travel from even the Quad Cities to your ice cream shop. How has that been and what type of feedback have you gotten?
TERRY: We have local people who bring friends down, the response has been great. Our favorite and the best is when people return and bring more and different friends in. We have families who come home for visits and make sure to stop in and get a cone at least once (often more) before they go home. We recently had a family from Nebraska back that had visited last year. They ordered and paid for their morning coffee and desert trip they would be making later that day.
Q: You also said that you have a big room at your restaurant that can hold big groups. What are some ideas you might have for that?
TERRY: We have an 800 square-foot newly completed room that we will be renting for gatherings and small parties. It's also a great space for meetings, open houses, reunions, family gatherings, showers, workshops and even exercises classes. It's complete with a kitchenette, large fridge, fireplace, and big screen.
Q: You also support the town of Abingdon with several high school students working at your restaurant. How has that been?
TERRY: We are fortunate to have a dedicated manager and several members of the team are high school students with a lot on their plates. They are juggling high school, sports, and plays. Several will be graduating CSC at the same time as they do high school. We have been very fortunate to have great kids to employ and a couple that have been with us since day one. We feel that it is important to offer kids the opportunity and have the responsibility of a job. Every single one of our employees have been on the honor rolls at their respective schools. It shows what great youth our community has and what they can accomplish.
Q: If a sports team is going to drop by after a game, do you recommend that they call ahead?
TERRY: Our flavors change depending on the rotation and demand. We might just ask for a heads up if they can that they are stopping by and bring their patience...we have a lot of flavors to choose from!!
Q: What type of ice cream do you sell the most of and why? We have old fashioned hand dipped ice cream and soft serve ice cream.
TERRY: We have some known favorites that we like to keep on hand like C is for Cookie, Butter Pecan, Stellar Coffee, Cake flavors are a few.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
TERRY: Grab a new menu and try some of our food items served inside and through the drive up. Online ordering coming soon. We are new to the business and very thankful to our Community for supporting us throughout this past year and hope to keep you wanting to come back!!
(You can reach Jeff Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org)