Having opened a pop-up shop in Arnotts Dublin the founders of Scrumdiddly’s Ice-Cream shops, Jennifer Kane and Darren McCormack spoke to the Irish Times about starting up their business. Jennifer and Darren have developed their business to a stage where they have 2 permanent shops, one pop-up shop, employ 4 full-time staff and 29 part-time staff. All of this from a standing start with their first shop in Donabate, Dublin 4 years ago.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31, Jennifer had to give up her job as a Personal Assistant to a surgeon in Beaumont Hospital. The couple had three children under the age of six and so Darren made the decision to give up work also to stay at home and mind their children. In 2011 the couple decided that they needed some form of a project to take Jennifer’s mind off her illness as she made her recovery. The couple adopted an approach centered on fun, focus, positivity and renewed appreciation for the importance of taking risks (and has proved a recipe for success sweeter than ice-cream itself!).
After hard work and positive attitude in abundance, Jennifer and Darren first turned a profit last year, the same year they the couple opened their second store in Dún Laoghaire. Arnotts approach the couple this year about being part of the Christmas experience in their store on Henry Street, Dublin and they have customers begging for them to open a store in the city centre already.
Not allowing herself to be defined by her struggles in battling cancer, Jennifer (with the enormous support of Darren and both of their families) has turned her illness into an motivation and an inspiration. The result is a business that now has a direct positive impact on 33 other individuals through the provision of their employment.
Started with no business plan, never made ice-cream before, no previous front-line retail experience, still made it a success! What’s holding you back from your next adventure?