What’s the Scoop?

Bud and Jennifer Strudthoff achieved their dream of opening up their very own ice cream shop. Their creative ice-cream and cookie flavors light up loyal customer’s faces at their ice-cream sandwich store, Cincy Sammy’s.

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Andie Madding, Feature and Broadcast Editor

It started out as a random phone call to friends, but it ended up the realization of a dream.

 

“{We had friends} that owned a brewery in Cherry Hill and just said, ‘We had this idea to make ice cream sandwiches with homemade cookies. Do you mind if we test it out at your store?’” Strudthoff says, “And they said, ‘Go for it.’ so that started our entire process.”

 

Strudthoff acquired a mobile food service license and sold their creations during the summer of 2021 in the brewery. A customer recommended that Bud and Jennifer open up a store in a nearby space in Mason.

 

“I’m a full time teacher and my wife was a full time attorney at the time. So we didn’t really want to invest all of our money into a space if it was something that we just didn’t like doing,” Strudthoff says.

As it turns out, the pair loved running a business, so much so that they opened up their Mason storefront in June of 2022. The shop is named after one of their family dogs, Samson, who loved to eat ice-cream and birthday cake. Each of their dogs is commemorated through the art that is hanging in the store – even in the names of sandwiches that are sold – incorporate their dog’s names. Their mom, Jennifer Strudthoff, left her position as a full time attorney to run the shop, and the entire family is involved in the management of their small business.

 

“Our two oldest kids love to run the cash register. My four-year-old greets people when they come in here and if you ask her she’ll tell you our whole life story,” Bud says.

 

His coworker, Mason High School English teacher Lori Roth, remembers when the couple first brought in samples for staff to try. Each person gave their feedback on what could be improved, and the pair went back to work.

 

“Bud and Jessica have vision. They understand and care about the community they are serving. They just aren’t selling a product (although the product is delicious). They offer an experience different from other cookie and ice cream establishments,” Roth says, “It’s a family environment and it’s clear that it’s family run.”

 

Roth explains that the couple juggles many roles in their lives, from teacher, parent, photographer, small business owner, and a family. She says that they’re the only people for the job, as they have an incredible amount of energy and drive.

 

Bud advises, “I think I’ve learned that it’s definitely okay to take risks. I’m a very timid person as far as life choices go. When it comes to doing things that are life altering, I let the world pass me by and I like to stick to the straight and narrow. This experience taught me to take risks and not be afraid to ask for help.”

 

Though the Strudthoffs have faced challenges while opening up their first business together, namely turning the larger vision into reality including renovating and advertising, they still believe it’s paid off. Bud says that the chance to turn your passion into your job is an incredible feeling and well worth the obstacles.

 

Jackie Smith is the owner of a neighboring small business Moss & Ivy, a plant-based gift shop. Smith has supported the couple since the beginning, and the Strudthoffs have done the same.

 

“I’ve enjoyed having them next door. We root for each other and want the best for each of our businesses,” Smith says. “Bud set my garbage out on a Sunday evening so I didn’t have to drive to the store to do so myself. They’re the best neighbors.”

 

The support of the community, as well as family and friends, was an integral part of the success of Bud and Jessica’s dream.