New owners at Island Scoops add more sweet treats to menu
They were lined up this week to get their sweet treats — floats, malts, milkshakes, banana splits, sundaes and ice cream cones.
It was business as usual at the Anna Maria Island ice cream store at 103B Gulf Dr. N.
But there were differences, too.
New owners Julie Kirkwood and Walter Loos took over the operation on Feb. 1 from Tracey and Rick Cusack and changed the name from Cream of AMI to Island Scoops.
Although the Big Olaf ice cream remains the same at Island Scoops, Kirkwood and Loos have added baked goods, including brownies, cupcakes, pies and cakes to the menu.
Also new are vintage sodas — think Frostie Root Beer and Dog n Suds Root Beer — and candy.
They also plan to open the back of the store for special events, such as birthday parties.
Kirkwood is from Chicago but has lived in Florida for more than 20 years, arriving in the Sunshine State via Eckerd College in St. Petersburg.
“I have been in business here 10 years, starting with Segs by the Sea at 102 Bridge Street, and a few years ago we added Book a Little Sunshine,” she said.
Kirkwood and the Cusacks are friends who attend Bayside Community Church. When Kirkwood learned the ice cream shop was for sale, she figured she could manage the new business along with her existing ones.
All are tourism-related and all are within the same close-knit retail district.
Segs by the Sea offers Segway tours of the island, and Book a Little Sunshine offers tours, activities and rentals.
“We are excited to have Island Scoops. It’s fun to have a family-owned business. Even though it is on the island in a tourist area, there are a lot of local regulars you get to know and to know their favorite flavors,” Kirkwood said.
Assisting in staffing Island Scoops are her two daughters, Sky and Ocean Kirkwood.
Several teen boys and couples from Portland, Oregon, and New York were among those in line to buy a sweet treat on Tuesday.
Elayne Armaniaco bought a cup of chocolate ice cream, tasted a spoonful and offered her husband Victor a taste.
“That’s really good,” she said.
Victor Armaniaco, a retired firefighter, said he noticed the business stays busy.
“We came the other night and there was a line out the door,” he said.
Island Scoops is open from 1-10 p.m. seven days a week.
For more information, call 941-840-0095 or visit islandscoops.shop.