In the 1989 movie, “Field of Dreams,” a mysterious voice told Kevin Costner’s character, “If you build it, they will come.” That was also the hope of the owner of the Blue Scoop ice cream shop in Selbyville when the doors opened back in 2010.
“There wasn’t any ice cream around,” said owner Barbara Schuckman. “The reason we opened up here was the location — close to Bayside, close to the Freeman Stage,” she said. With a need to fill in a rapidly growing area, Schuckman decided it was the right time to set up shop.
Schuckman grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, spending summers in Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City with family and friends. After living in New York for 20 years, she moved back to the area, where she has been running the business for six years.
“I love it down here so much,” Schuckman said. “I wanted to be able to spend more time here. I wanted to put down some roots.” The name comes from the idea that Delaware is a “blue” state — blue hens, blue crabs, and blue coast, another element Schuckman credits her steady business to. “Ice cream and the beach just seem to go together.”
From the start, Schuckman knew she wanted to sell local, homemade ice cream. All she needed was a supplier. She found one in the Woodside Farm Creamery, the 220-year-old Hockessin-based farm owned by Jim and Janet Mitchell. The partnership has been fruitful, not only professionally, but personally, too. “The Mitchells are the most wonderful people,” Schuckman said. “They are so supportive of me and my business, and I absolutely love their product.”
It’s that homemade product that draws in the customers — locals and tourists alike — who return year after year. The community has been very supportive, and in turn, Schuckman maintains an involvement with the neighborhoods that support her. Still, the ice cream business isn’t all chocolate sundaes and sprinkles. One of Schuckman’s biggest challenges is time. Blue Scoop is only open full-time from Memorial Day through Labor Day. “What would really be nice is if I could stay open all year long.” Shuckman said.
“From September to December, it’s only weekends or four days a week, and I close generally the week before Christmas.”
One of Schuckman’s goals is to grow Blue Scoop’s post-Labor Day business. One idea: take it in a more mobile direction.
“At the moment, we are renovating a little camper for off-site sales and catering,” Schuckman said. While expansion is in the works, Schuckman is more interested with where the shop is now and maintaining that comfortable, friendly environment.
“I’ve been through a couple of hurricanes and construction on Route 54, and I’m still here,” Schuckman said. “I don’t really have any interest in being real big. This is perfect. I have a lot of great local customers and my staff develops a lot of relationships. So with those kinds of roots, that’s probably more important to me than getting bigger.”