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Meet John and Kendra Scheer of Scoopwell’s Dough Bar in Central Phoenix (Uptown Plaza – Central Ave and Camelback Rd)

Today we’d like to introduce you to John and Kendra Scheer.

John and Kendra, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

Both born and raised in Nebraska, Kendra and I originally met in high school before deciding to attend the University of Arizona. We married shortly after graduating (Kendra with a degree in nursing and myself with a degree in business and entrepreneurship) then spent a couple of years in Phoenix before deciding to make the jump to New York City to chase my pursuit of Investment Banking.

After three years in NYC, where Kendra worked as a nurse in pediatric surgery and myself in finance, we found ourselves in Durham, North Carolina where I pursued my MBA at Duke to facilitate my jump into banking. During my MBA we were so fortunate to expand our family by two (our first set of twins Sloan and Delani). I was recruited by Bank of America for investment banking out of grad school and all was good… for about six years until we decided that we needed some more space for our growing family (now two sets of twins aged 6 and 3).

Once we made the decision to leave the City, Phoenix was the obvious destination for us. We both enjoyed living there previously and viewed it as a great place to raise a family. With that decision made, the next logical question was what would we do to support our family. I had always wanted to start a business and given the investment banking world didn’t really exist in Phoenix, it was the perfect opportunity to branch off and start something new for ourselves. We both always had the dream of owning a business where we could have a more meaningful impact on employees and the surrounding community. We also wanted to own a business that was family friendly and would make it easier for the kids to be around, even when we were at work.

Given these parameters and our love for sweets (particularly cookie dough), opening Scoopwell’s became the obvious choice. We started strategizing and developing our brand beginning in the fall of 2017. We didn’t want to be just another cookie cutter, fly by night store so we put countless hours into capturing our vision, alongside a great team of people, to ensure it translated into our store such that others could visit and enjoy and truly feel like they had come to a special place.

Fast forward to where we are today and we can honestly say our dream has become a reality. We have been welcomed with open arms by the surrounding community and we can’t wait to see where we go in the coming months and years.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The path getting to where we are now has been extremely rewarding but it has for sure taken its toll on the entire family. For starters, Kendra and all the kids moved from NYC to Phoenix at the end of December 2017. I stayed in the city to work at my banking job to continue to support the family and business costs while finalizing a Scoopwell’s location and beginning to undergo construction. Delays led to more delays which led to more delays and before we knew it, we were several months off schedule. Not only was I trapped in NYC away from the 5 people I valued most but finances became only more dire as starting a business (no shock to anyone) became more and more expensive as days passed. Kendra was essentially vaulted into single mom status for the next 10 months as I was only able to come back for weekend trips at most a couple of times a month. Not only did she mom the heck out of our four kids, but she was busy selling catering jobs, locating a temporary commercial kitchen, strategizing our next business steps, and engaging with future clients all while being on several volunteer boards. When we decide to jump, we jump all in… and this was no exception.

For the first two months, Kendra and the kids even shacked up with the best man in our wedding in his two-bedroom condo. Where do you put four kids and two individual adults… easy, youngest twins slept in a closet (don’t judge us), oldest twins took our friends master bed and Kendra took the couch, while our friend was relegated to his spare bedroom/office. I meanwhile crashed on a couch for 10 months at a friend’s one bedroom apartment sharing space with her and her 2-year-old twins in Manhattan to cut costs as well.

The process of starting a business, working through the separation of our family, keeping two lives separate as no one at my work knew about Scoopwell’s or even our family’s move to Phoenix became increasingly challenging if not impossible. After 10 months, it became unbearable seeing the damage it was doing to our children. We had a couple of specific events that we’ll never forget as parents that we both ended up crying on the phone asking what the “f” we were doing to our kids. We quickly realized that we were unwilling to sacrifice any more pain with our family and that we needed to be reunited permanently.

I walked into work that following Monday and promptly quit. Fortunately, my boss at Bank of America was incredibly understanding and provided me with some time to think things over as I moved back to Phoenix to be with the fam. Ultimately, we realized that if they were going to do it right, we needed to be all in with Scoopwell’s. That meant no other job, no fallback plan, no more job security, just belief and hope that Scoopwell’s would be a success.

Please tell us about Scoopwell’s Dough Bar.
We sell edible cookie dough, freshly baked cookies, the occasional ice cream sandwich and love hosting parties at Scoopwell’s or catering events outside of the store. We make everything in house daily ensuring that our dough is always fresh and delicious. Our dough is unique in the sense that although it is edible it is also bakeable into cookies. From a brand perspective, we are proud to provide exceptional service to everyone that walks through the door. Regardless of who you are or where you come from, you are welcome at Scoopwell’s. Having lived in NYC for 10 years and embracing diversity, this core value has become incredibly important to us.

Secondly, we pride ourselves in creating an incredibly fun and rewarding work environment for our employees. Everyone here is an extension of our family and we care for them as such. We overpay for what the job is, but that goes back to making an impact on people’s lives and wanting to be more than just a job for others. We try and mentor and build relationships with employees to create a unique environment different from others you may find in the food service space or anywhere for that matter.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
We both revel in our time we were able to spend with immediate and extended family during our childhood. Obviously, the occasional ski trip or Disney ranks right near the top but it all comes down to being around those you love and cherishing the few moments you get before you all go your separate ways in life. Clearly, you don’t appreciate it as much being a child but looking back now, that is something that we look to keep as a focus for our kids throughout their childhood. Moments are fleeting and we already feel like we’re running out of time with them all being in school starting next year.

Pricing:

  • We priced our treats, quite frankly, probably a bit cheaper than we should have, but we did so with the intent of making our treats approachable for everyone. Everything we offer is extremely affordable, from a fresh baked cookie for $1.95 to a four scoop cup of dough for $4.95

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@blakebonillas

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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