Just in time for the first day of summer this week and National Ice Cream Month in July, new local ice cream shops are opening with a flurry.
Scoops Ice Cream & Acai Bowls opened its third location this spring in East Naples. Co-owners Brandy and Zach Mersch launched their first store three years ago in Pebblebrooke Center followed by a Green Tree Center location in North Naples. Their third shop will have its grand opening this summer next to Empire Bagel Factory in the Flash Car Wash food court, 9995 Tamiami Trail E. The locally owned business won’t have all of Scoop’s 75 flavors of ice cream there but it will have a good selection and offer acai bowls and milkshakes, Zach Mersch said.
“We have 15 flavors and five of them rotate,” he said. “We make everything homemade.”
Scoops plans to have five locations in Collier County by the end of 2023. “We will be in the downtown Naples area within six months,” said Mersch, who gave up his corporate job a couple of years ago to partner with his wife for the ice cream business. “The goal is to be in downtown Naples before the holidays and the end of 2022.”
Scoops also is rolling out an old-fashioned ice cream truck this summer to bring its ice cream to the people. “We’re trying to get it into service by Aug. 1,” Mersch said. “We will carry 12 flavors on the truck and rotate them.”
The business already has a retro ice cream trike that it books out for weddings, birthdays and other local events. “It’s just been crazy,” Mersch said.
Scoops also wholesales to 11 different restaurants in town, including 30 flavors to Mr. Bentley’s Ice Cream Shop, which is shooting to open July 1 on Marco Island. The new store is coming to Publix-anchored Marco Town Center, 1089 N. Collier Blvd.
Naples residents Renata and Nicky Frisone plan to open their second local franchise of Jeremiah’s Italian Ice next month in East Naples. The new store is targeted to launch July 16 in Berkshire Commons retail center on the northwest corner of Santa Barbara Boulevard and Radio Road. The Frisones launched Southwest Florida’s first location for the Orlando-based chain two summers ago in North Naples. The local couple is already scouting locations for their third Jeremiah’s, known for its signature gelati creations made by swirling different flavors of Italian ice with soft-serve vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
Cold Stone Creamery also has a new location coming next month in Golden Gate to replace the longtime Dairy Queen Grill & Chill that closed last year at 4895 Golden Gate Parkway. The ice cream store drive-thru in Golden Gate Center will be a co-branded space with a new Planet Smoothie franchise. Both concepts are part of Arizona-based Kahala Brands.
The Golden Gate store will be the third location for Cold Stone Creamery in Collier County, where the chain has shops in North Naples and Marco Island. It also has five locations in Lee County.
Three other area ice cream shops started scooping within the last month. The fifth location of Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream shop opened May 28 in Vanderbilt Commons, the retail strip on Vanderbilt Beach Road just west of Collier Boulevard. It’s the first ice cream shop, though, for local residents EJ and Kim Embrey, who individually own the new shop.
Antojitos Y Mas ice cream shop launched its new location May 21 in Everglades Square on the northwest corner of Everglades Boulevard and Golden Gate Boulevard in Golden Gate Estates. Antojitos Y Mas, which means Snacks and More in Spanish, features a menu of traditional Mexican desserts. It’s the third location for Claudia and Dario Rubio, who also own and operate stores in Golden Gate and Bonita Springs.
Village Walk Ice Cream Shoppe opened May 20 in the Village Walk of Bonita Springs, a subdivision off Bonita Beach Road east of Logan Boulevard. Although it is inside the gated community, visitors just need to ask the guard at the gate for a temporary pass to visit a restaurant at the town center, 15291 Latitude Drive. The new shop serves Royal Scoop ice cream.