Scratch Ice Cream hit a milestone this month when it opened its first brick and mortar retail shop at the southern end of the Ruby Isle shopping center in the former home of Yo Mama!, 2205 N. Calhoun Rd.
The establishment of the scoop shop, which also functions as the production hub for the growing ice cream brand, also marks a full circle moment for the business, which Ryan Povlick founded in 2015, producing his first pints of ice cream in the back of his aunt and uncle’s Yo Mama! yogurt shop in Wauwatosa.
Seven years ago it would have been tough to envision that the small ice cream purveyor would eventually glean numerous wholesale clients including Sendik’s, Outpost, Woodman’s, Cermak and Metcalfe Market in both Milwaukee and Madison.
But Scratch Ice Cream has done all of that and more, establishing a presence at both Crossroads Collective and Zocalo Food Park where they sell ice cream and ice cream sandwiches. In recent years, Povlik’s brother Justin has also joined him in running the ice cream business, officially making it a family run operation.
Step inside the new scoop shop and you’ll find an L-shaped retail space bordered on one side by two dipping cabinets. There’s also a variety of seating options, including bar and bench-style seating along with a few booths.
Even better, a nicely appointed patio outside offers al fresco accommodations for families who’ve come to enjoy a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day.
The selection of options at the shop is the largest of any Scratch location, featuring up to 24 flavors, plus treats like housemade ice cream sandwiches and ice cream pies.
All scoop shop flavors are made in house, but guests who make the trip to Brookfield will also experience the freshest batches of ice cream available, with most made within a day or two of appearing in the dipping cabinet.
Flavors, which will rotate, will also include multiple vegan options (including selections from Scratch’s new line of oat milk based ice creams), a consistent selection of the popular-but-time-intensive cheesecake flavors, as well as new and more experimental flavors like Tea & Biscuits and Cookie Monster (blue vanilla ice cream with assorted cookies). Ice cream is available by the scoop (starting at about $4), as well as in cake or waffle cones.
As time moves forward, Povlick says the shop will also be introducing a wider variety of ice cream sandwiches, as well as adding the option for shakes, malts and sundaes, hopefully by the end of the summer.
Povlick says that taking the business to the next level with an independent location has not come without its challenges, but he’s grateful for the freedom that it’s offered the business.
“It’s exciting to be able to offer people so many new flavors in a space where we were really able to create our own vibe,” he says. “This space was designed by us, so it reflects our company and personality. And we were really lucky to be able to put it in a place where there are so many young families and kids.”
Scratch Ice Cream is currently open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.