Often found at the Terra Vista Farmers Market in Rancho Cucamonga and markets across Southern California, Scoops on Tap, an unusual ice cream-making business, has made a name for itself with its handcrafted and original and ice cream flavors.
Scoops on Tap was started in 2015 by childhood friends Sam Howland and Bryan Marasco. But they revamped their business amid the pandemic. Previously, they had contracted out the ice cream making. But in July of last year, they opened their own kitchen.
“It was always the dream for Brian and I,” Howland said. “We finally built up the company to a level where we thought we could open up this production and be successful.”
Before COVID, Scoops was mostly event-based. They did festivals, such as the Los Angeles County Fair and Renaissance faires, pop-ups and catering events.
When COVID-19 hit, Howland said they lost events business. To move forward they began to do wholesales and retail, they said.
They have a variety of flavors and different types of ice cream, including handcrafted varieties, such as creme brulée. They also have “spirit-infused” ice creams, for which they use beer, wine and liquors mixed in. And they have several vegan options and a recently added keto variety.
For the beer-infused ice cream, they like to try the beer and come up with ways they can pair it, Howland said. Their non-craft beer ice creams are inspired by modern takes on classic flavors, he said. They use strawberries from Oregon to make a jammy ice cream, he said.
“Last summer I was laying in a pool and I had the inspiration to make an ice cream called couch potato,” Howland said.
The salted caramel blonde, which is a creamy sea salt dulce de leche ice cream infused with Beachwood Blonde Ale from Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach, has been their most popular flavor since opening.
“Our mentality has always been ‘ice cream for the people’,” Marasco said. “We believe in making a really high-quality ice cream and something that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.”
Howland said there were some difficulties trying to get their kitchen set up during the pandemic. Construction started in the middle of February 2020, right when COVID-19 had begun spreading rapidly. He also said funding the construction for the project was also challenging.
“We definitely have been doing pretty well for ourselves considering everything,” said Lawrence Nagel, who also works for Scoops on Tap.
At the farmer’s market, the Scoops On Tap stand can be identified with an orange and red cart, and a sign listing the pre-packaged ice cream flavors that are available.
A pint of their homemade frozen desserts sell for $12; a 4oz cup is $5 or two for $8.
“The ice cream is a little pricey but it was absolutely delicious, and I love how they cater to vegans, and even keto,” said Nicholas Monez, a resident from Eagle Rock.
The most popular flavor from the handcrafted series is the creme brulée. And their most popular plant-based treat is called Wake Up Call, which is made with coconut cream and Colombian roasted coffee.
Howland and Morasco also have plans to open a brick-and-mortar shop soon.
In the meantime, their ice cream is available online to order for pickup at shopscoopsontap.com from their Montclair warehouse. They can also be found at several farmer’s markets on Saturdays all across Southern California.
Sumiko Rudisky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.