Uptown ice cream shop scooping for local customers

By Zoe Smolios | gargoyle@flagler.edu

When it came to opening his own business, St. Augustine local Brent Beckett wanted to open a place where other locals could – softly – get served the scoop.  

The St. Augustine Scoop is an ice cream shop located at 78 San Marco Ave. Beckett thought up with locals in mind.  

After moving to St. Augustine just two years ago, Beckett spent his first year and a half scouting out the town in search of a new venture to take on. 

“I just wanted to switch everything up,” Beckett said.  

Beckett previously worked in marketing and branding. He said that his prior work was so devoted to helping others start their own businesses that he was ready to start his own.  

When it came to what kind of business he wanted to open, though, ice cream was not the first thing to come to mind.  

“Before opening day, I had never scooped ice cream,” Beckett said. 

So, where did the idea for an ice cream shop come from?  

“I was doing research one day and found out that a group of pelicans is called ‘a scoop’ and the idea just took off from there,” Beckett said.  

Between Beckett’s background in marketing and realizing that pelicans and ice cream could be related, the business took flight, and Beckett designed merchandise incorporating these concepts.  

Before opening day, the ice cream shop owner wanted people to start recognizing the pelican and ice cream cone, so he went around distributing hundreds of his stickers on objects such as mailboxes and parking meters. 

Merchandise is displayed at the St. Augustine Scoop Shop, featuring the store’s signature pelican logo. Photo: Zoe Smolios

“It takes people seven times of looking at something before they recognize it,” Beckett said. “I want people to see the pelican or the ice cream cone on someone’s t-shirt or hat or on a sticker and recognize them and be like ‘Hey, that’s from The Scoop.’” 

When it came to location, Beckett knew he wanted the shop to be somewhere convenient for locals, where they can walk, ride their bike, or park, without having to worry about paying, right outside the shop.  

“If a local wants an ice cream cone, they have to go to St. George Street. That means they have to look for parking, pay for parking, and then fight all the tourists,” Beckett said.

He opened up shop on Nov. 17, 2018, also the first day of Nights of Lights, and the owner says he has enjoyed the entire experience, with the only challenge so far being the on-and-off Florida winter weather.

“The best part so far has been the locals,” Beckett said. “I’ve made over 100 new friends doing this.”  

When it comes to the menu, Beckett says he is starting out with the basics, sticking to the old-school feel, selling basic coffee, ice cream cones, milkshakes and sundaes.  

Beckett says he wants The Scoop to be much more than just an ice cream shop, but rather an interactive business. He has plans to collaborate with other local businesses and schools. 

After doing some research, he learned that there’s no name for a baby pelican. With that in mind, The Scoop is now involved in an initiative to come up with a name for baby pelicans along with Sebastian Middle School. 

“There’s a father and a son that come in here pretty regularly, and the son just got elected president of the student body, so I thought that’d be a perfect opportunity,” Beckett said.  

Another collaboration is with Honey Truck Co., where The Scoop will start selling locally made honey.  

For anyone who wants to visit, the shop is closed on Mondays for the winter and is typically open from 12:30 p.m. until 7 p.m the rest of the week. Hours will fluctuate throughout the year, as the shop is built upon what the customers want.  

“People think that you establish the brand, but the consumer sets the brand,” Beckett said. “That’s why the hours are based on what the customer wants.” 

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