There was an in-depth conversation about ice cream. Should we get it? Should we not? “I’m not sure if we have time for it before getting dinner started.” “But it’s the perfect day for ice cream!” My husband, father and I pondered whether or not to get ice cream as we walked on Water Street to my car. And that’s when we heard it.
::ding, ding:: “Coop’s Scoops!”
Our heads turned. We saw a young man on a pushcart-bike hybrid and locked eyes with him.
“Lapp Valley Farm ice cream. You want some?” he said with a smile. My jaw literally dropped because of the eerie coincidence.
Nodding our heads enthusiasticaly, we exclaimed “Yes!” in unison.
The ice cream was divine. I knew I had to write an article on Cooper.
I met up with Cooper Linde at Musser Park a few days later. When I approached him, notebook and pen in hand, he was chatting it up with two patrons. They laughed and smiled as I overheard them talking about how easy it would be for the gentleman patron to create a similar business with shaved ice. Cooper was very enthusiastic about the idea and was encouraging the man to get started. I stood back and watched him work his magic. He was personable, warm, and immediately friendly to the couple he had met just minutes before I arrived.
Cooper has been serving ice cream (literally from his bike) for three weeks now and has already made a lasting impression on the city. As a new father, he wanted to create a fun way to connect with his community. Everybody loves ice cream, and everybody has grown to love Cooper, too. By starting Coop’s Scoops, he hopes to inspire his community in fighting unemployment with a job that doesn’t require a lot of skill and training but makes more than minimum wage.
Our generation is built on a platform of screens. People are constantly engaged in their phones, their computers, their televisions, even self checkouts at grocery stores; people crave good personal interactions. A short conversation over something fun like ice cream can help people feel like they’re part of a community. It gives people a sense of belonging.
Cooper chose Lapp Valley Farm ice cream because of the high-quality, homemade product they put out. The small family-run business uses Jersey cows, whose milk is higher in calcium and protein, creating a much creamier ice cream that is easy to digest.
So, why a bike? He had his special bike made by a company out of Portland called Icicle Tricycle. “A bike is comfortable to ride around on and it’s small enough to cover great areas. It may even inspire drivers who see me riding my bike to bike themselves! It’s safe and really fun,” Cooper explains.
So, next time you’re walking down the street craving ice cream, listen for a little ::ding, ding::. Coop’s Scoop’s may be right around the corner!
Coop’s Scoops Schedule (subject to change):
- Wednesday night: Buchanan Park
- Thursday night: Grandview Heights
- Friday lunch: Lancaster General Hospital
- First Fridays: around the gallerys, etc.