This summer, Karin Sellers opened Here’s The Scoop, an ice cream shop across the street from Howard University. We sat down with the proprietor, a graduate of Bladensburg’s Elizabeth Seton High School (she was there at the same time as Muriel Bowser) to hear what it’s been like.
What made you want to open an ice-cream shop?
“I’m a worker, I love to serve, I love to share information and I believe in our community. I grew up in Lanham, Maryland but went to school in DC. Most of my time growing up was spent here, because my parents owned this property. My sister and brother also went to Howard University. After I got out of high school, I didn’t go to college, and went to cosmetology school. I owned a hair salon, for 14 years. But, the best thing about owning a salon was the connection you get through meeting people. And I always remembered the lessons that my father taught me about [having a] financial foundation, generational wealth, and the importance of owning your own. I just kept telling my clients that I’m going to open up ice-cream dessert shop, and a few years later I applied for a grant program and was awarded it. God kind of put everything in place.”
Why did you choose Columbia Heights?
“Well, we do own the property and had a presence already in the neighborhood. I felt that people would be open to support. I believed it it would also make people happy. Plus, Georgia Avenue needs it, we need a place that people can come in and feel good, because we’ve been through a lot of a rough times. Even with the changes that are going on in the city. A lot of people aren’t really happy with gentrification—it is what it is—and we need to learn to come together and get to know one another. So I want to have events where people are willing to come and sit and maybe have discussions.”
How did you come up with the name for the shop ?
“Number one, ‘scoop’ is associated with ice cream. Number two, I want Here’s The Scoop to be a place where you receive information. Whether its pop-up events, financial literacy events, or events about health. Of course, I’m selling everything that has sugar in it. But, I also have vendors that will be supplying me with gluten-free options soon.”
What is it like being an African-American small business owner in DC?
“I will honestly say that when I decided to open up, I never even thought of it. I just wanted to open up a business. So, it wasn’t until one of the young ladies that’s been helping me, was like, ‘you need to emphasize it more.’ So I did. I didn’t understand the significance of it until we did do that. And then came the huge positive response that we received from the community. Through some conversations that I’ve had already, it’s gonna be an amazing journey. I had an event and an 86-year-old man came in with his family and he really just wanted to come to meet me and said how much it meant to him. It was an honor for me to sit there and listen to him and talk about DC and how its changed.”
Let’s talk ice cream. What are the top five flavors customers order?
“Our blueberry/pomegranate sorbet is number one. After that it is our salted caramel, mousse track, butter pecan, and birthday cake. And for the treats other than ice cream, our pound cake has really been a hit.”
Here’s The Scoop; 2824 Georgia Ave NW