More Than Your Average Food Truck
While Vicky Little’s business is technically categorized as part of the food industry, she has always considered it to be, at the core, the service industry.
Beginning when she was young, Vicky consistently had an example of how to serve others. “My mother and grandmother were always involved with serving others, especially immigrants,” said Vicky. “My grandma had a huge heart for the preschool system for low income families. That focus of giving back has always been in my heart.” Along with the example of service, Vicky learned about hard work and determination from her dad. Those traits combined built an unstoppable fire in Vicky. After starting a moms’ group for her church and running it for years, Vicky stepped down to be able to spend more time with her family. About a year later, Vicky realized that she was missing something. “I wanted to contribute to my family’s income and make it so my husband could stay home a bit more also,” said Vicky. “I realized I needed to work.”
Serving food was never something Vicky envisioned to be her life’s calling, but when she saw an opening in the market, she jumped at it. When Vicky’s children were little, their school’s PTA would raise money by selling students punch cards to redeem for ice cream after school on certain days of the week. “It was a win-win. The PTA made extra money, and the parents didn’t have to take their kids for a treat after school. The kids always looked forward to it.” A couple of years ago, Vicky’s husband Josh brought the idea back up for them to start a similar, more permanent idea, to help make extra money but also to give a fundraising amount back to the schools. “For my birthday, my husband called me outside and there was a push cart,” said Vicky. “We worked to get it to specifications, I pitched the idea to my kids’ school, and they went for it. It was incredibly successful.”
Only having a small push cart made it so that Vicky couldn’t participate in events that were intended for food trucks, and it created quite the difficult work load during the intense summer heat and chilly winter months. “I told my husband we really needed to upgrade to a trailer.” So, Josh got to searching, eventually brought home a trailer, and the two got to work. Vicky knew she wanted to sell more than just Italian Ice. To be able to stay open in the winter, Vicky decided that coffee would be the best addition. With the perfect refreshing treat for the heat and the ideal warm beverage for the cold, Sip and Scoop California was born in March 2017.
Sip and Scoop’s menu now includes espresso drinks, lattes, americanos, drip coffee, and iced and hot options sourced from Big House Beans, as well as Italian Ice from Mustache Mike’s and gelato from Gelato Classico. In the summer they offer lemonade and iced teas for those who don’t want coffee, and this past winter they added hot chocolate. “Hot cocoa was a huge success. It kept us open this winter,” said Vicky. “We were at the Streets of Brentwood ice skating rink and sold countless hot chocolates.” They weren’t just plain hot chocolate, however. Visitors could tailor their drinks to their specific taste by adding caramel, peppermint, white chocolate, or any combination. Vicky also offered affogatos so patrons could still have ice cream with their coffee. Occasionally when they’re at an early event like a swim meet, Sip and Scoop provides breakfast paninis to go along with people’s morning brew. In the future Vicky would love to permanently add a pastry option as well.
If you spot Vicky’s trailer at an event and go up to place an order, you will notice that she is never alone. Sip and Scoop has been a family business from the beginning. “My kids love helping on the trailer. It probably doesn’t hurt that they get to keep any tips,” said Vicky. “They’re learning the value of hard work and good customer service.” All five of Vicky’s children have helped her in some capacity; it changes from month to month which child will be of assistance, depending on their busy activity schedules. Kendall, Vicky’s youngest who is eight, tends to spend the most time with mom. “She depends on me the most, so she gets to work with me the most. She really enjoys it and considers it her business too.”
help attend multiple events on the same day. Her long-term goals would be to continue doing exactly what she is doing and eventually reach the point of hiring people to run the trailers so that Vicky can be behind the scenes, spending more time with her kids. “I love what I do. I love being able to be out in the community, doing events and getting to meet new people.”
Business: Sip And Scoop California
Address: Brentwood, CA 94513
Tel: (925) 577-1071
Photos by: Ron Essex Photography