I scream, you scream, DeWitt residents scream for Scoopy Doo’s ice cream!
Scoopy Doo’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream is an ice cream shop located in the heart of downtown DeWitt. The smells of warm, fresh-cooked waffles and hand-dipped ice cream lure people in from the city sidewalks. There is no denying the shop’s long reputation for successfully satisfying any ice cream connoisseur’s appetite.
Olivia Thurner, a senior at DeWitt High School, has been coming to Scoopy Doo’s since her family moved to DeWitt in 2011.
“I remember when we moved here, we went on a field trip at school to Scoopy Doo’s when it was across the street,” Thurner said. “We walked over there and everything, it was fun. The best ice cream place I know.”
While Scoopy Doo’s has been in business for years, the shop did find itself under new ownership in 2015. Becky Hayes, 50, had the title of “stay-at-home mom” for 17 years, raising her two daughters alongside her husband, Mike. Once both her daughters were in high school, Hayes knew she wanted to have her own business to keep her busy since her daughters were grown. When she saw Scoopy Doo’s was for sale, she knew that they would be the perfect match.
“I thought there it is, that’s my destiny,” Hayes said. “I had no idea what I was doing. I had never worked in an ice cream shop.”
But it more than worked out.
This past spring, Hayes renovated the shop and opened its new location, which is directly across the street from where it was originally founded. The bigger space has allowed the shop to expand its menu and offer a variety of items to customers including chili dogs, hot dogs, Jones soda, grab n’ go salads, snacks and more. There may have been a change in scenery, but what has not changed are the smiling faces that come to Scoopy Doo’s every day, eager for their favorite hometown treats.
“We have a lot of regulars that come in almost every day,” Hayes said. “You would think everyone in DeWitt would be huge from all the ice cream.”
Hayes has plans to expand her business by introducing a full menu of items like flatbreads and loaded tater tots. By doing this, she can keep the shop open year-round and offer guests something hot during the winter months.
Unfortunately, Scoopy Doo’s experienced a sudden delay in its plans when a tragedy struck this past August. Hayes’s beloved husband, Mike, passed away unexpectedly at 71 years old on Aug. 6, leaving a void in the hearts of many who knew him.
“He was the ‘waffle cone king,’” Hayes said. “He would sing and dance and entertain everybody. This was his fun place.”
Although things are not the same, Hayes said she holds onto the memories and continues to run the business that was her destiny. She has a community who supports her, especially because she always makes everyone feel at home when they enter her shop. One of her employees Sierah Delrio, a senior at DeWitt High School, said she looks forward to coming into work.
“She makes us feel like family,” Delrio said. “I dreaded going to my old job, but I like coming to work here. I get to see happy faces, there’s never a dull moment here.”
Hayes ensures that people of all ages are welcomed into her shop. She has a kid’s corner stocked with toys and books for children to entertain themselves. There is a gumball machine, and if the customer can guess what color gumball comes out, then he or she will receive a free soft serve. She even puts candy eyeballs on kid’s ice cream cones to make a silly face. These fun additions help Scoopy Doo’s reach its goal of creating a family-oriented, small-town atmosphere.
“Everything we do is for kids and family,” Hayes said.
With a name like Scoopy Doo’s, it is only right that the shop be dog friendly. Hayes offers “pup cups” to dogs, which consists of vanilla ice cream, peanut butter drizzle, sprinkles, and dog treats. Also, this year is the second year the shop will be hosting a doggy costume contest. Last year’s winner was dressed as a fawn, and Hayes hopes to see even more creative costumes this year. The contest will likely be held the weekend before Halloween.
Scoopy Doo’s is open 3-9 p.m. daily.