Last summer when I noticed a sign for a new ice cream shop coming soon to Old Town Scottsdale, I felt a rush of excitement overcome my body. I’m a sweets fanatic, with soft serve ice cream, chocolate-vanilla swirl, -dipped cones being of my all-time faves.
When Shakes & Cones opened in late October 2014, my long awaited dreams of creamy, ice-cold, heavenly treats came to absolute perfect fruition.
And imagine my surprise when I walked up to the shop and noticed that Shakes & Cones isn’t even a walk-in ice cream shop but a cute little walk-up window with brightly colored chairs out front. Taking our order was none other than the owner’s parents.
Shakes & Cones is a family business. The brother and sister team of David and Gina Vallecorsa, with their spouses, have designed the shop they always wanted, with a product they truly believe.
“We’ve always wanted to have our own business,” said David. “I’m in commercial real estate and a couple years ago when the industry started to slow down, I was able to think about it a little more.”
The siblings and their spouses, Katie Vallecorsa and Max Rosenburg thought about what type of business they could run. Ice cream kept coming to mind.
“Our mom has always been a health nut,” said David. “She said if you want to do ice cream, find a healthier way.”
Months turned into years and research was done, equipment was purchased, recipes were tried. A business plan began coming together.
“We did our research and found we could do organic soft serve,” said David.
“The taste-testing process was amazing,” said Katie.
The four family members found products and designed a menu that could be almost completely organic, non-GMO, kosher and gluten free. A few exceptions come when items like Oreos are used as toppings.
“It doesn’t take much to make ice cream. In our soft serve there are about or ingredients depending on the flavor,” said David. “We use grass-fed cow milk and it tastes creamier than other milk.”
Soft serve ice cream has lower butter cream (6 content than ice cream (1018 and contains more air, giving it the softer texture. The amount of air introduced at the time of freezing alters the taste and quality of the soft serve ( air content results in a creamier product)
The soft serve ice cream at Shakes & Cones comes in vanilla, chocolate and vanilla-chocolate swirl and is extremely luscious and satisfying.
Menu items consist of cones, shakes, blend-ins, floats, freezes and even an Affogato ( double shot of espresso over 12- cup of organic vanilla soft serve).
The siblings wanted a simple name for their shop. Something catchy. Shakes & Cones was a natural fit.
They wanted a quick walk up window and simple menu to make ordering ice cream a casual and uncomplicated process.
The menu, however, has grown over the past two months because of all the items customers have requested.
The location, near a busy corner in Old Town Scottsdale was chosen for its foot traffic. The siblings and their spouses all grew up in Phoenix, giving them a keen understanding of the community.
family business is definitely all in the family. With David and Gina’s mom and dad running the window on some afternoons, the siblings and their spouses taking over other shifts and two ASU students filling in as well.
Gina and Katie both have babies on the way in April.
It’s a hectic yet fun time for everyone.
“Last weekend, it was a Friday night and we had a really busy night,” said David. “Max and I were washing dishes and he looked at me and said, ‘ are we doing… both had good jobs and now we are working two jobs and washing dishes.’”
David laughs while telling this story and looks at his wife before continuing. They both smile, pride beaming from their eyes as they look at the business they’ve all created.
“It’s a crazy time,” he said. “But it’s so much fun.”