A new KC ice cream shop employs people with special needs—here’s the founder’s story

The Golden Scoop in Overland Park/Photo by Natalea Bonjour

In April, The Golden Scoop opened in Overland Park. The nonprofit ice cream and coffee shop is the culmination of years of planning for three founders—behavioral therapist Lindsay Krumbholz, her sister Amber Schreiber and culinary director Michelle Reeves—who wanted to find a creative way to provide meaningful employment to people with developmental disabilities.

Reeves met Krumbholz while working at another nonprofit, where they discussed a business model that might serve their vision. Of every ten people with a disability, eight are unemployed, and those that are in the workforce are often limited to custodial work. The Golden Scoop offers a variety of experiences for its eighteen employees—“Super Scoopers” with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Williams syndrome— including greeting customers, taking orders, scooping ice cream, creating latte art, making the ice cream and producing marketing materials.

“Within a four-hour shift, if they want to do six different jobs that day, they can do that,” Reeves says. “They have a lot of ownership in terms of what they’re doing, and their enthusiasm level because of that has just been wonderful.”

The Golden Scoop (9540 Nall Ave., Overland Park) will offer twelve flavors, many of which are dairy-free. Reeves says the number of applications The Golden Scoop has received is staggering, a testament to the need for the shop’s model—and, she adds, an incentive to expand The Golden Scoop. Reeves and her co-founders are already planning to open several more locations within the next five years.

Reeves moved to Kansas City from Houston in 2006, and lived next door to Therese, a young lady with Down syndrome, for ten years.

“It impacted our lives in such an incredible way,” she says. “Therese taught my children how to be kind and inclusive and they became very protective of her. She made my children better people, and this is my way of paying it forward.”

Perfect Day

“Because I’m trying ice cream all day, I try to get a workout in, and right now that’s Fusion Fitness on demand. Then, of course, I get coffee at Hattie’s in Corinth Square. They’re a micro-roaster that helped us create our custom blend at The Golden Scoop and they help us train our Super Scoopers. I get whatever the drip of the day is, black.”

“I do a lot of cooking, and I go to Bichelmeyer for all my meat. I buy pork belly and chorizo usually. They also do offal, and their steaks are amazing. They make homemade Slim Jims— they call them Bic Sticks—and they are so good.”

“One of the most underrated spots is Marble Top Cafe by Ward Parkway. I love their homemade hummus, baba ganoush and pita.”

“Whatever I’m eating, it’s all about the sauces. I love Burg & Barrel. They have great burgers with this addictive chipotle aioli. Burger Stand in Lawrence has so many sauces, and their duck fat fries are absolutely worth the drive. The tacos at San Antonio in KCK are crazy good, and they make this habañero sauce that looks like cheese sauce. I think a few people got confused a few too many times because now they have a sign giving you a warning that it’s not cheese. It’s absolutely delicious if you like some heat.”

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