The recently opened Scoop N Dough Candy Co. in downtown Fargo grew out of founder and owner Josh Ulrich’s desire to do something for his community.
“I love Fargo and I love downtown,” Ulrich said, “and I thought it would be good to do something that would benefit downtown.”
Scoop N Dough serves a variety of sweets, including hard ice cream, cookie dough, and popcorn and caramel corn.
Scoop N Dough opened on May 17, about a year after Ulrich signed the lease on its space. So far, it has been an unqualified success.
“It’s exceeded anything I planned,” Ulrich said. “For the first five days, from start to finish, there was a line.”
Ulrich characterized the shop’s appeal as somewhat nostalgic, saying “there’s no age limit” (nor age minimum) to the clientele it will attract.
“I think it’s because we’re offering multiple things that people enjoy,” Ulrich said.
They have specialty popcorn flavors that can be eaten in-shop or taken home in bags. The ice cream served at Scoop N Dough is high quality, sourced from a Wisconsin dairy, served in cones or mixed in shakes, malts, sundaes and the like. And then, of course, there are the several flavors of edible cookie dough.
Success wasn’t Ulrich’s main concern when he started working on realizing the idea for the business. He was just looking for a way to contribute to the fabric of Fargo, not for a way for Fargo to contribute to him. Outside of Scoop N Dough, Ulrich works as a sales manager. The sweet shop is his first foray into business ownership.
“I’ve always thought about doing some sort of fun family business,” Ulrich said.
Ulrich took promotion and social media seriously as components for the launch of his brick-and-mortar shop, and the effort paid off: He said Scoop N Dough was able to amass eight to nine thousand followers on its social media accounts before even opening.
“It’s the product, but then (it’s also) the product getting out there,” Ulrich said.
Now that the shop is open, he says they are getting roughly 1,000 customers, by his estimate, on a normal day.
Scoop N Dough Candy Co. is one of a growing host of businesses in downtown’s Roberts Alley. Ulrich said some people warned him about opening a business down an alley, but he sees the location as an asset rather than a liability.
“The alley is different,” Ulrich said. It presents the opportunity for Scoop N Dough to be active rather than passive in getting customers through the door.
“I hope people find us because they heard about us,” Ulrich said. “I didn’t just want to rely on foot traffic,” Ulrich said.
Being located in Roberts Alley also places Scoop N Dough at the heart of one of Fargo’s most rapidly developing spots—the candy shop rents retail space on the ground floor of Roberts Commons.