'We can still survive:' Milwaukee ice cream shop battles through challenges of pandemic economy

MILWAUKEE -- The pandemic economy has been challenging for the food service industry, but a Milwaukee ice cream shop has found a way to keep growing during the tough times.

The staff at Scratch Ice Cream is enjoying the rush of the summer season inside their new kitchen on Milwaukee's east side. The summer months are almost always guaranteed to be busy for ice cream sales. Suddenly, though, that became a little questionable due to the pandemic.

"Everything's just a little more difficult, you know. You gotta work twice as hard to make the same amount of money, and even still, it feels like you're fighting a losing battle," Ryan Povlick, co-owner of Scratch Ice Cream, said.

Scratch Ice Cream

Ice cream may not be essential for all, but Povlick and company have found a way to keep their plans for growth and success on track during the pandemic -- thinking outside the box to meet customers where they are.

"Right when it started hitting hard in Wisconsin and things started shutting down, we launched a delivery care package that went really well. That helped a lot," said Povlick.

Scratch Ice Cream

Scratch sells pints and scoops at its shop in the Crossroads Collective. They've also added wholesale accounts in Wisconsin and into Illinois -- proving that even in the toughest of circumstances, there's always a little room for ice cream.

"It's hard right now, but also at the same time, I think I realize that even in the worst-case scenario, we can still survive," Povlick said.

With summer being the busy season, Povlick said they are already starting to plan ahead for the slower fall and winter months.