More grape picking!

I had the pleasure of spending part of my morning picking grapes with Mike Moorhead, from Moorhead Farm. I learned while chatting that he had lived in Los Angeles for 10 years. What?? Small world! Spending time in Los Angeles while visiting my daughter, Kelsey, is what sparked this dream of making/selling homemade ice cream from a mobile cart. He gave me some recommendations to pass along to Kelsey for great food stops in LA.

I left him with some samples of ice cream...which he shared with his parents. Later I found out his parents are big Penn State Creamery fans. There was a moment of panic, haha. He's agreed to suffer through more samples...poor Mike ;)...in exchange for honest, helpful critiques (at my request). If I can get their approval I'll be feeling really good about my product! 

I'm always interested in learning and still loving my work! I've met so many cool people along the way and so many in the community who are willing and happy to support my business. Thanks, Mike, for the special grapes! I'll be dropping off some samples soon:) 

PATIENTLY WAITING FOR POWER...

When you live in the grape belt, deadlines and schedules not associated with harvesting become a little hazy during harvest season. The wiring for my batch freezer was scheduled to be done yesterday. Except that the electrician is also a grape farmer. And his turn to pick is well, yesterday until they're done. While this was disappointing for a new business owner wound with excitement to get started, I can appreciate the bigger picture here. The anticipation just grows. Not a bad thing:).

While I was out this evening I spotted a grape picker in action. I had been hoping to get some pics of this! So I pulled over and wandered toward the crew....really hoping they wouldn't be irritated I was hanging around. They got closer and I could hear the kids chattering, "who the heck is that?", "I don't know.." And so on. I made eye contact with one of the guys driving a smaller tractor, walked over and asked if it was okay to take pictures to use on my website. He said, "no problem" and then asked what my website was for. I explained that I was making homemade ice cream using the local farmer's produce and just thought it would be cool to get some pics of them in action. He seemed pleased to hear this. A few minutes later one of the younger girls came up to me with her hands on her hips and said, " I hear you're making ice cream." Almost like...you better be! I assured her I was.

I did my best to stay out of the way of the moving equipment. As I was waiting for them to get ready for the next row one of the crew asked if I'd like to ride atop the grape picker. Um, ya!!! So I climbed aboard and hung out with the driver, Charlie Rahal for a bit. We had never met before but became quick friends when I told him my plan to make ice cream. I thanked him heartily and promised to bring him some once I was producing. Thank you to all of the crew who were so kind and generous! I enjoyed watching them enjoy their work. I love my new job!!!

This is just the beginning!

Welcome! This is my first attempt at a blog and since it's my first there is so much to tell! I've spent months anticipating this day! I will try to not lose you with long-winded details, but...no promises. You have no idea how many drafts I made trying to narrow down my "About" page to 2 short paragraphs.

 

What's so special about today?? Today is the first announcement of the start of my small business, Northern Scoop Craft Ice Cream. I recently shared this news with some close friends and their response was a surprised, "How did this come about?!"

 

This is a short version of my reply...

 

After spending time with my daughter in Los Angeles, where she has lived for the last year and a half, I fell in love with the food truck culture there. It's fun, it's vibrant, it's colorful, it's creative, it's yummy! I wanted to bring some of that back to my hometown. So I started brainstorming. Originally I thought about starting a wood-fired pizza truck. I bought the book, The Food Truck Handbook (great book!). I watched The Great Food Truck Race on Netflix. I daydreamed about amazing combinations to use on my pizzas.

 

Eventually this idea evolved to ice cream. I've always had a weak spot for ice cream. The endless creative possibilities involved with actually making it had me hooked! Once that was settled it was a matter of taking one small step at a time.

 

Jump to today...very exciting news, this week I bought a batch freezer (ice cream maker) and an ice cream cart! I spent a lot of time over the last couple months researching equipment. I wanted to be certain that what I was investing in was high quality and dependable. The batch freezer I purchased is the same brand of machine that makes Ben & Jerry's and Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Pretty cool company!

 

As I write this, my husband and I are driving a pickup truck (borrowed from those same close friends) to get my batch freezer. I can't wait to start making ice cream! Soon to come...ice cream, sorbet and Italian ice with lots of gluten free and vegan options available.

To get updates on my business and whereabouts you can follow Northern Scoop on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I hope you're excited too! 

Here she is!!