July 16 — A beloved pet is the inspiration for a new business venture at Vandergrift.
Stephanie Crookes, a 40-year-old Vandergrift native, designed the logo for her scoop on Jackson ice cream parlor using the likeness of her late dog, Brody, who loved to eat ice cream. .
“The logo was made after Brody,” Crooks said. “She died two years ago. She was 17.”
A Penn Hills scammer calls Scoop on Jackson, which opened May 31, her “side job.” This is the latest in her business portfolio.
Crooks is a landlord of 22 rental properties in Vandergrift and a full-time DJ. She runs a purikura company and says she doesn’t get much sleep.
“I love ice cream and this was my dream,” said Crooks. “I just kind of mulled over all the recipes[for sundaes]and looked at all the flavors and figured out what went with what.”
Scoops offers specialty sundaes, floats, ice cream sandwiches, and hard ice cream made by Perry’s Ice Cream in Buffalo, NY
Crooks said cookie dough, banana cream pie and red velvet are the top-selling flavors.
Scoops is located in the former Lofty Softy Building at 411 Jackson Avenue near Kennedy Park.
“I love seeing young children smile,” said Leah Kankur, an employee at the store. “They’ll have big eyes and they sure love ice cream.”
Customers can bring their dog to Scoop on Jackson and order a puppy cup for $1.
“It’s popular after dinner,” Crooks said. “Everybody wants a pup cup for their dog. It’s a scoop of ice cream topped with a little dog bone.”
Crooks graduated from Kiski Regional High School in 2001 and is a frequent visitor to Lofty Softy.
“Going to Lofty Softy after a football game was a big deal,” Crooks said.
Lofty Softy operated from 1973 to 2011. Prior to that, the building housed a bakery and a barber shop.
All of Scoops on Jackson’s signature sundaes have music-inspired names such as ‘Ring of Fire,’ ‘Hora Back Girl,’ and ‘Poor Some Sugar on Me.’ I’m here.
“My life as a DJ is music,” Crooks said.
Prices are $4 for a single scoop and $6 for a double scoop. Check out our weekly special flavor feature.
Ice cream toppings include Swedish Fish, Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Animal Cookies, Oreos and Gummy Worms.
Crooks purchased the building in 2021, but had to obtain a permit from the district, update the building to meet fire code regulations, and secure an occupancy permit.
The Scoop is seasonal from April 15th to November 15th. Hours of operation are 4-9 PM daily.
“But if November is really warm, we can stay open longer and make pumpkin flavors and all that stuff,” Crooks said.
City Councilman Marilee Kessler said Scoops is the latest of several new additions to Vandergrift’s business community.
“This is a great addition to Vandergrift, especially at this location near Kennedy Park. Lots of activities and events are held here, including people walking dogs. It’s great to have a little oasis here,” said Kessler. He said.
For scammers, owning and operating a sweet-themed business has its perks.
“People are happy. It’s more like my wedding business,” she said. “We are here to celebrate sweet treats. Good luck everyone. Hopefully this will be my retirement.”
Joyce Huntz is a staff writer for Tribune Review. You can reach Joyce by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.