St. Michael is pretty great, but has been woefully missing a key staple of small town glory: An adorable, family-operated ice cream shop. Luckily, the Elsenpeter family from Buffalo is expanding their mini empire to Central Avenue with their second brick-and-mortar location.
“I’ve always, since day one here, I’ve said St. Michael-Albertville would be such fun,” said Elsenpeter. “And long story short, it all kind of fell into place, and fell really fast.”
Set to open in June, What’s the Scoop? will be offering 40 flavors of rich and creamy old-fashioned ice cream. The St. Michael location — at 104 Central Avenue E. — is currently undergoing a full remodel, and owner Brady Elsenpeter is over the (blue) moon to be putting his entrepreneurial spirit to work in a fun and lively way.
Before pursuing the ice cream business, Elsenpeter worked as an electrician and even owned a car business. There, he picked up some ice cream equipment at an auction and eventually swapped cars for cones to dedicate his time fully to the shop.
“It was just my initial family, my wife and my parents, and my sister jumped in at times,” said Elsenpeter. “And now, we currently run over the summer nine to 10 employees.”
The Buffalo shop is bustling, especially during the summertime, and the same is to be expected of the St. Michael store.
“The big thing for our success is the experience of our employees and myself being welcoming, and saying thank you when you leave,” he said. “And our location down here is awesome by the lake ... You take your ice cream and you walk around, that’s all tied into one.”
Elsenpeter will split his time between the stores and catered mobile truck events, and the once family-operated joint will be bringing on more team members to help serve up dessert with a smile. Don’t fret though — all five Elsenpeter kiddos will continue helping out around the place.
As a parent of athletes and an active member of the community, Elsenpeter can’t wait to reach more sweet-toothed customers.
“I am most excited about growing and touching different people in the different communities,” he said,” and bringing in Rogers, bringing in Otsego, and bringing in Albertville, and growing that way we were able to with the mobile truck.”
The St. Michael location is just a few blocks from the schools downtown, and was recently approved for not one but two outdoor patio sections. This location will also have upstairs rental space, and has a parking lot out back.
“I’ve been in those communities. But we obviously just don’t have a brick and mortar to have people come continuously, so we are excited to grow that way,” Elsenpeter said. “To be a part of that downtown, and to kind of grow that walking space, will bring St. Michael more of the hometown feel.”
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