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Unless U Scoops opens in Vestavia Hills

New ice cream shop is serving up more than just a sweet treat
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 4:49 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - There’s a new ice cream shop in Vestavia Hills with a sweet mission. “Unless U” Scoops staff are all adults with developmental disabilities.

“We always have fun in the ice cream shop and my most favorite is working the register or greeting. we all love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” says Unless U student Summer Vankirk as she prepares to greet customers.

Her counterpart Chris beams next her.

“I like working at Unless U Scoops,” he says smiling.

There’s a new ice cream shop in Vestavia Hills with a sweet mission. “Unless U” Scoops staff...
There’s a new ice cream shop in Vestavia Hills with a sweet mission. “Unless U” Scoops staff are all adults with developmental disabilities.(Shilo Groover, WBRC)

The ice cream just opened two weeks ago, and already it’s a big hit, with customers lining up ready for their doors to open at 1 p.m.

The mission is to provide vocational training to Unless U students in a safe and fun work environment.

Unless U was founded in 2014 to serve adults with developmental disabilities and their families through continuing education, job training, and life and social skills.

The ice cream shop is a perfect way to do that. Students are able to learn about different aspects of the food service industry, from safety to greeting customers, running the cash register, and promoting their product.

Job training teacher Meridith Binkley helps manage the shop.

“The most important part of ice cream shop is seeing the students grow in confidence, the confidence they have in themselves and pride they have in the school. To watch them greet customers and take ownership over a job when many of them haven’t held jobs before is been a really incredible thing to see. It’s a light to the community,” Binkley says.

The bright cheerful walls of Scoops are decorated with paintings of ice cream cones, made by the students.

Big Spoon Creamery supplies the ice cream, but they do have a special flavor you can’t get anywhere else – called Unicorn.

There’s a new ice cream shop in Vestavia Hills with a sweet mission. “Unless U” Scoops staff...
There’s a new ice cream shop in Vestavia Hills with a sweet mission. “Unless U” Scoops staff are all adults with developmental disabilities.(Shilo Groover, WBRC)

“It’s cake batter ice cream with sprinkles, says Summer, proud of their custom option “No where else but Unless U Scoops!”

Scoops is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. You can find out more about the shop and their mission here.

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