Olde Town Arvada, a quirky-cool hangout with a retro vibe, is home to a funky micro-creamery and candy shop called Scrumptious. Inside the storefront, colorful candy bins line the walls, and seemingly every nook and cranny is brimming with sweet treats.
The building’s nearly 100-year-old wooden bar has been converted to an ice cream counter, where you find the twist to this modern take on a classic hangout: Among the familiar chocolate and vanilla are flavors like bubblegum, root beer, cotton candy, “Blue Moon” and other adventurous options that keep customers coming.
Since its opening on Grandview Avenue in June 2010, Scrumptious has become an Olde Town favorite, known for its storehouse of candy, cool atmosphere and unique ice cream flavors – a combination that has earned it a place on Channel 7’s “A List” as best ice cream shop.
The man behind the magic is Scott Spears, an Arvada native and University of Colorado graduate who wanted to do something a little different for his beloved hometown.
After a brief stint in real estate with his parents, Scott and his wife Lisa moved from Superior back to Arvada in March 2010. He was looking to start something of his own, and he had his sights set on Arvada’s Olde Town.
He secured one of the old storefronts and began asking around: “What does Olde Town need?” Although he had no previous experience in candy sales, much less making ice cream, Scrumptious was his answer.
But Scrumptious isn’t a typical mom-and-pop ice cream shop – Scott envisioned a hip hangout to match the up-and-coming vibe of Olde Town Arvada, which he says is the “next really cool place.”
His goal was to cater to 18- to 40-year-olds. Scott, only recently turned 30, knew how to speak to this niche, vamping up the décor with flat-screen TVs, cool seating, art – even a traffic light.
“Scott had and has great ideas and really executed his vision perfectly,” Lisa says.
Among the quirky trademarks of the shop is Scrumptious’ mascot, a large metal pig that stands outside the shop door. Recently, Scott has been painting him to match the seasons, and the locals love it (he’s even posed in one Arvada family’s Christmas photo).
In designing the brand, Scott shied away from “kiddy candy store” and went for something more modern, including the shop’s slogan “It’s all good.”
“Everyone is pushing all natural… and I’ve been to a few places where it tasted all natural,” Scott says. Not wanting to skimp on taste just to say “it’s all natural,” Scott just says, “it’s all good” instead.
Although he has proved to be a master ice cream maker and businessman, Scott studied communications at University of Colorado, and was heading for the restaurant business while working at C.B. & Potts in Boulder.
He met his wife on a blind date to Old Chicago. Both being animal lovers, he popped the question by making tags for their cats and dogs that spelled out the words “Will you marry me?” On July 18, 2009, they were married at the home plate of Coors Field.
After his time in real estate, he and Lisa moved to Arvada because he knew he wanted the town as a home base for whatever business he started.
“[Scott] loves the town and has deep roots that were important for him to be in this community,” his wife says.
Before the shop could open, ice cream experimentation was key to discovering all the unique flavors that Scrumptious would offer. As he learned how to make ice cream, Scott began listing ideas – mostly springing from his wife’s suggestions.
“Every single flavor she threw out was awesome and most of them are the favorite ones here now,” Scott says.
The “Elvis” flavor sprung from a good friend’s suggestion to mix banana ice cream with peanut butter, honey and bacon. Scott tried it – minus the bacon – and now it’s one of the most popular flavors and a permanent feature on the rotating ice cream menu, which includes other favorites like blueberry cheesecake, “All Things Chocolate,” bourbon black cherry and chai.
On opening day, Scrumptious welcomed crowds of foot traffic that continued throughout the summer. Scott put in long hours during the shop’s initial months, making ice cream, interacting with customers and running the business. Every day Scrumptious was open, Scott was there from early morning until evening close through September, when he freed up his Saturdays to see the CU Buffs play.
Scott now has a more manageable Monday-Friday schedule, with three other regular employees, as well as his wife and parents coming in to help out, too.
Since Scrumptious opened, it has been growing, gaining wholesale customers, offering the popular Breckenridge-brand of deep-fried pies, and gearing up to carry to-go pints and quarts of Scrumptious ice cream flavors.
Although Scott doesn’t rule out the possibility of opening more Scrumptious shops, his focus is on Olde Town, a growing hot spot close to his heart.
“[Scott] loves this city, and definitely loves everyone who comes through the door,” says Rich Griswold, Scott’s good friend and faithful employee.
Scott continues to be on the lookout for new opportunities, however. “I like starting stuff up… It’s just fun trying to figure out what is needed,” he says.
If You Go
7523 Grandview Ave.
Arvada, Colorado 80002
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, noon-9 p.m., Sunday, noon-6 p.m.