Sisters-in-law launch Scoop & Paddle retro ice cream truck

Sisters-in-law launch Scoop & Paddle retro ice cream truck
Sisters-in-law Renee Crisitello, left, and Nadine Crisitello, both of Clarksville, co-own Scoop & Paddle Ice Cream Co., which operates out of a converted 1973 Volkswagen bus. The bus travels to events around the county like this 5K race at River Hill High School. (Steve Ruark / Baltimore Sun Media Group)
Ice cream trucks are inherently cold, but this one might be the coolest of all. Scoop & Paddle Ice Cream Co. of Clarksville is housed in a bright red and white 1973 VW camper, once a surfer bus from Huntington Beach, Calif., that has been refitted as a roving refrigerator filled with craft ice cream cups, pints and cookie sandwiches, radiating coolness from the inside out.
Here’s the scoop: Renee Crisitello, 39, and sister-in-law Nadine Crisitello, 45, are co-owners of Scoop & Paddle, whose treats are homemade, all-natural, locally sourced whenever possible — corn picked in the morning became part of summer’s sweet corn and blackberry blend ice cream by afternoon — and organic when practical.
The two get along well. Both have backgrounds in sales and marketing, to which Nadine added culinary training. Both studied at for-small-businesses Ice Cream University in New Jersey; Nadine supplemented this with Penn State’s industry-oriented ice cream short course.
Both, along with husbands and children, migrated from New Jersey, Nadine some 14 years ago and Renee almost three, finally responding to her sister-in-law’s urging. Now they’re neighbors as well.
Scoop & Paddle debuted this summer at River Hill Garden Center, where it still makes appearances Sunday afternoons. Fall’s schedule includes stops at the Howard County Farmers’ Market at Miller branch library, River Hill High School football games and Western Regional Park sports events. Scoop & Paddle is also available for corporate and public events as well as weddings, bat mitzvahs and sweet 16s.
Amy Kramer knew customized individual cups would be perfect for ice-cream-loving son Matthew Hernandez’ bar mitzvah party in August, where Scoop & Paddle’s retro pushcart was part of the summer-themed decor. Chock-full of five flavors and with a backup supply, it still held no leftovers.
“When I booked them, I didn’t know Scoop & Paddle would be the hottest thing in Clarksville,” says Kramer, who learned about the company at a function last winter.
Along with standard chocolate and vanilla, there are seasonal flavors that change five times yearly.
“We’re working on a version of sweet potato with toasted marshmallows,” said Nadine, who has a background in recipe development. Current flavors like apple cobbler, candy corn and pumpkin brittle will give way to gingerbread man and candy cane for the holidays.
Now as winter approaches again, the Crisitellos hope to bring their holiday flavors to area restaurants and wholesalers.
“We have the best job in the world,” Renee says, “and we get to work together. There’s no one else in the world I’d rather be in business with.”