Recent data from financial services group, LendingTree, found that Washington, D.C. has the second highest number of Black-owned businesses. One of which, an ice cream shop owned by Karin Sellers, sits right along Georgia Ave. and has become a staple among Howard University students. Here’s The Scoop was founded in 2019 and serves an assortment of desserts and hot food for the Shaw community.
Founder Sellers has been business savvy since she was 19 years old. She originally owned a hair salon and transitioned into the ice cream business. Since its opening in 2019, the ice cream shop quickly became a D.C. favorite and continues to garner service and build community within the Pleasant Plains area.
Sellers has always understood the importance of owning your own business. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs and growing up in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Sellers explained that she wants to continue a legacy of economic freedom, providing jobs and developing togetherness in her hometown.
She dreamed of opening an ice cream shop of her own while also owning a hair salon for 14 years, The Washingtonian reported. She was awarded a grant after applying for funds to open the parlor and opened it shortly after. Sellers aims to establish a safe, positive environment for all customers.
“I’ve been here through all the ups and downs of the community. When I first opened up [it] was to establish a business that showed that I wanted the community to come in and have a very positive experience. I wanted to serve my community,” Sellers said.
And when the coronavirus pandemic hit only six months after the shop’s opening, Sellers leaned on that same community. According to research from the University of California in Santa Cruz, 40 percent of Black-owned businesses closed between February and April 2020.
“The pandemic hit shortly about six months after we opened up. Then, we went through the changes of no one on the street…Not knowing where you would fall as far as business,” Sellers explained.
“But I will say through that process…I would say the community itself was very supportive of Here’s the Scoop and made sure they wanted to keep us in business,” she continued.
Community-driven, she leans on this to foster a welcoming atmosphere for both customers and employees. Lariel Newkirk, an employee at Here’s the Scoop and a senior marketing major at Howard University, says that her experience working with Sellers has been more enjoyable than any other job she’s had and is thrilled to assist Sellers in achieving her goals.
“I’m happy to be able to be a part of her journey because the shop opened three years ago. It’s doing good but it’s still growing,” Newkirk says. “And I’m happy to see what her vision is for her future and be someone that’s there to help her with whatever she needs,” she continued.
By being supported by the neighborhood during the coronavirus pandemic, Sellers carries on that camaraderie and shares it with students at Howard University. Sellers has provided support to various Howard student organizations by assisting in fundraisers and school events for local D.C. public elementary schools.
She previously collaborated with the School of Business student council. Keilayn Tate, a senior business management major, weighs in on the influence Here’s the Scoop has had on Howard students.
“I think Here’s the Scoop is amazing with the Howard community. They have done a number of events where part of the proceeds go to an organization at our school. I think their willingness to give back to the community is so valuable,” Tate said.
Copy edited by Nhandi Long-Shipman