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Fun fact: My thumbs LITERALLY look like spoons (or toes!) hence the name “Spoonthumb Ice Cream”

Tell us about your business. My husband and I started Spoonthumb Ice Cream out of a deep love for community, local food, and of course, ICE CREAM! We make ice cream in small batches using Northwest ingredients and sell it from a renovated Shasta camper located in Downtown Nampa, Idaho. We also travel to festivals, events, and weddings throughout the Treasure Valley with a tiny ice cream cart.

What spurred you to make the leap from whatever you were doing before to owning a business? Before starting Spoonthumb, I managed a small Champagne importing company in Seattle, Washington. While learning about Champagne pairings and tasting, I started exploring and appreciating food in a different way and developed a passion for finding unique flavor pairings and foods. When I left Seattle to return to my hometown of Nampa, Idaho, I knew I wanted to work in a small business setting again, and loved the idea of doing something with local food. I also fiercely missed my favorite Seattle ice cream shop so began experimenting with ice cream at home. When I found a tiny ice cream cart on Craigslist, I took it as a sign and developed a business plan to create a small ice cream company focused on local ingredients. And thus Spoonthumb was born!
Is there anything you wish you had known before starting your business? I didn’t realize how collaborative and supportive fellow small business owners would be! I tried to do so many things by myself when first starting Spoonthumb, and when I finally started asking for help, I was pleasantly surprised by how many people are willing to lend advice, share contacts, and collaborate. The small business community in Boise has been so generous and helpful, and I feel so lucky to work alongside a group of passionate and creative people.
What have you learned about yourself? That I say “yes” way too often! I’m learning to be more selective with how I spend my time (both in and outside of my business) and the importance of a day off. I’ve always been proud of my work ethic and ambitious goals, but it’s important to make time to rest and recharge in order to keep thriving.

Where/how did you find support when you started? I am lucky to have an extremely supportive family behind me. My parents also own a small business (and have for over 25 years!) so they have been an incredible resource of wisdom and support.

Was there ever a moment when you felt like giving up on your business? Why didn’t you? Oh yes, I’ve definitely had moments where giving up seems easier. At times, Spoonthumb completely takes over my life. Between making ice cream, working our trailer, marketing, business administration and everything in between, small business ownership can feel like an all-consuming, one-woman show. Stepping back and remembering that our goal is to simply make people happy with delicious ice cream helps put things into perspective and gives me motivation to keep moving forward. I’ve also learned to delegate and ask for help when I’m overwhelmed and am lucky to have a (very small) staff and supportive community that willingly jumps in to help.
What do you LOVE to do? (Separate from kids and family, what’s your favorite thing?) I love to host parties! It gives me so much pleasure to plan events, cook for other people, and share my home with others.

What’s your best advice for a woman about to launch her own business? Any encouraging words? Jump in! I think the hardest part about starting a business is getting started and working up the nerve to just DO IT. There will always be learning and growing to do, but just starting (and seeing that you really can do it!) will give you the courage to keep going. Ask for help when you need it, but know that you will figure it out.

Why is the MILK community important? Starting a business can feel like a lonely and overwhelming endeavor. Having a community of strong women to guide, support, and inspire you is an incredible resource!

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