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Ice cream fans invited to a second Scoop

By CHRISTINA K. COSDON

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2000


Festive overhead lighting with grapevines intertwined in lattice and an aromatic mix of hot coffees and freshly baked cookies and muffins are the mood setters at A Scoop Above II.

While the original Scoop Above several miles away in Oakhurst is mainly an ice cream shop, this newest Scoop, which opened last week near Seminole High and Seminole Middle schools, focuses on breakfast, sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner in an informal, comfortable atmosphere.

For intimacy, there is a little niche with a sofa and tables and its own grapevine lighting "for people like me," said owner Pat Johnson, "who have kids and look forward to a cappuccino and dessert with their spouse -- a place away from the kids where you can chill out and relax.

"I've spent a lot of time in Manhatten and San Francisco," she said, "where places like this with cute little cubbyholes are everywhere."

Scoop II has ice cream, of course -- 32 flavors of Edy's -- but it's served in glassware and real flatware, not plastic. There's also a self-serve bin of specialty ice creams, such as Godiva, and self-serve yogurt.

Mrs. Johnson had worked 23 years in accounting when she changed careers last year to become a small-business owner.

She found the Scoop II location a several months ago and, with her husband, Frank, and her parents, Mary and Joe D'Allesandro, she began remodeling the 1,700-square-foot former doctor's office.

"We rebuilt everything from the floor up and did all the work ourselves, except, of course, for the electrical and plumbing work and signage," Mrs. Johnson said. "I tried to use all local contractors, like Rainbow Electric of Seminole and Seminole Plumbing," she said.

They shopped garage sales for an eclectic collection of tables and chairs and refinished the wood and recovered the seats themselves. "We tried to be creative," she said. "We made the food counter out of doors."

The work took about six weeks -- an average of 18 hours a day -- and an investment of some $30,000, Mrs. Johnson said. There is seating for up to 25 people.

Evening traffic last week included couples out walking who dropped by for coffee and dessert or a sandwich. "One family has made this a regular stop for their dogs, who love sherbet," she said.

Afternoons sees the school-kids dropping by for ice cream and pizza, she said. "I've seen a few sitting around tables eating ice cream and doing their homework," she said.

Breakfast choices are muffins (blueberry, peach-cherry, raisin bran, lemon poppy, cranberry, carrot and banana nut) and scones made in the Scoop II kitchen. There are also fresh croissants and bagels. For lunch and later, there are sandwiches, all served on a variety of fresh breads and salads, ranging from $2.99 for an egg salad sandwich to $5.49 for a chicken Caesar salad. A 6-inch personal pizza also is available.

Coffee lovers can help themselves to self-serve or have a specialty drink made up. Bakers racks are filled with tempting gourmet sauces, sweets, pastas, soup mixes and other treats in fancy packaging. Crazy Jerry's Margarita salsa is $6.25, microwave popcorn on the cob is $1.99 per cob, an orange-mustard glaze made with Florida citrus is $4.75, a Key lime sauce made with real Key limes is $6.25 and a $5.95 chocolate body frosting comes with its own paint brush.

The staff of includes manager June Harrell of Seminole and 10 part-timers who are mainly Seminole High students. Three of Mrs. Johnson's children also work there: daughters Lynn, 16, and Kristal, 17, and son Dan, 20.

Scoop II is in the Bell Plaza at 8686 131st St. N. It delivers free to local schools and businesses. Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 319-8757.

Wellner hired as marketing director

Pat Wellner of Gulfport has been hired as marketing director of Homestead Title of Pinellas. She moved here a year ago from Albuquerque, N.M., and until recently worked for a title company in St. Petersburg. She has more than 10 years' experience owning a small business. In Albuquerque, she worked as a small business consultant and regional manager for a non-profit organization that provided technical assistance and support to small businesses.

Seminole residents Lynn Kidd and Susan Collett today are celebrating their first anniversary as the owners and operators of Homestead Title. The business, previously known as Johnson Title, has 2,600 square feet in the Seminole Professional Center at 7150 Seminole Blvd.

Wade joins Century 21 Grant Realty team

Teresa Wade is the newest sales associate at Century 21 Grant Realty, 6450 Seminole Blvd. The Tampa native previously worked in the restaurant business.


-- Know of a new or unique business in the greater Seminole area? If so, tell us about it. Send items to Seminole Business, Seminole Times, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756 or fax it to 445-4119. We also are interested in promotions, expansions and major new contracts. Photos can be sent, but not all will be used and they cannot be returned.

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