Golden Scoop opens in Overland Park, employs people with special needs


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — It’s the only nonprofit ice cream and coffee shop in the metro, and there is something special about the people scooping out the desserts there.

The Golden Scoop at West 95th Street and Nall Avenue just opened on April 14. The owners spent the past two and a half years planning out this unique business model.

They’ve hired 21 employees, all with special needs, and are putting all the profits back into the employee’s paychecks. Management said its important to offer this marginalized group of people an opportunity to work at a fun job while earning a paycheck. 

“You come in here, and it just makes your day lighter, brighter, happier,” Michelle Reeves, vice president of the nonprofit, said. “Our motto is we’re going to be a really happy place to be, and you’re going to come back because the ice cream is delicious and the coffee is great, but you’re really going to come back because you like interacting with our super scoopers.”

One of the co-workers said she has “so much fun” making ice cream. She even has a flavor named after her.

“Lucy’s 41 is the non-dairy ice cream that we serve here… and Michelle here has made it 41 times just to get it right,” Lucy said.

She has goals to travel and dance all over the world, and she’s hoping the money she earns at the shop will spark her dreams.

That’s what they call the employees: super scoopers. They hope to open more of these as they have a waiting list of people with developmental disabilities who want to work here.

“They are just like you and me,” Reeves said. “They want to be with people, they want to be working, they wanna earn a paycheck; some of them have lofty goals with their paychecks. We have one super scooper who wants to go to Korea to visit her brother that she hasn’t seen in two years.”

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