RETAILER HELPING RESHAPE ARVADA
Scott Spears has four businesses in Olde Town and is working on a fifth
Scott Spears has four businesses in the neighborhood, including a toy store and an ice cream shop, and is working on his fifth. “I just want to have fun.”
Scott Spears is reshaping downtown Arvada’s retail scene, having opened four stores in less than 10 years, with a fifth one on the way.
Spears, 36, is the mastermind behind Super Zoom Bang Bang toy store; Scrumptious ice cream and sweet shop; School House Kitchen and Libations bar and restaurant; and Sock, a specialty sock store.
But if you ask Spears about his journey to success in the area known as Olde Town or about his plans for the future, he’ll tell you he’s playing it by ear. He attributes his success to luck.
“I don’t ever have great, big, giant plans,” Spears said. “I just want to have fun all the time. That’s all I want to do . ...
“Honestly, it’s rolling the dice on every single one of these. We’ve been very blessed that they’ve been successful.”
He gives credit to his mother and his wife, both of whom have experience in retail purchasing.
“They are so supportive. There is not a chance I could do it without them,” Spears said.
Spears had no intention of becoming a serial entrepreneur, which is what he bashfully labels himself.
After graduating in 2006 with a degree in communication from University of Colorado at Boulder, Spears followed his parents into residential real estate. But it was “the worst possible time” to enter the business, he said.
One day in 2009, as he sat in an Olde Town bank with his mother, Spears saw a for-sale sign on the store across the street. With a jolt of inspiration, he took a leap of faith.
His mother lent a hand in purchasing the building, and Spears got to work.
“People down here are looking for more retail,” he said.
“Growing up, Olde Town was all antique stores. When I went to Boulder and found all these cool areas, like The Hill, Old Town Louisville, Pearl Street, I thought, ‘Why don’t we have this in Arvada?’ ”
He thought fondly of a Boulder ice cream shop he frequented as a college student. A Craigslist search turned up some cheap candy bins. So, on June 21, 2010 — the first official day of summer — Spears opened the doors to Scrumptious.
His best friend helped him run the shop, while Spears experimented with ice cream recipes and spent most of his time on scooping duty.
His ice cream flavors were a hit, and he hired more staff. In 2013, he opened another location in Longmont. In 2014, Scrumptious went mobile with a food truckstyle kitchen.
Spears tried his luck again after he saw DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant close in 2014. He created School House Kitchen and Libations.
Almost a year after School House opened, a kitchen fire nearly destroyed it. Spears was undaunted. The doors were shut almost two months for repairs, reopening in April 2016.
Last March, Spears debuted Sock. A few months later, he introduced Super Zoom Bang Bang around the corner.
He is working on a new store that will take the place of Olde Town’s recently shuttered Ophelia’s, a family-owned Mexican restaurant.
He hinted that it will feature another branch of the food industry, but otherwise he remains tightlipped.
“I think Scott is a great ambassador for Olde Town,” said Nathan Bishop, executive director of Olde Town’s Business Improvement District, which recently elected Spears its vice president.
“He’s done it all — restaurant, ice cream, retail. They are familyfriendly, but they are hip,” Bishop said. “That’s not something you always get with a single operator.”
Scott Spears stands inside School House Kitchen and Libations in downtown Arvada last month. “I don’t ever have great, big, giant plans,” he said. “I just want to have fun all the time. That’s all I want to do.”
Jaime Grimm-Rice and her daughter, Izzy Rice, order ice cream from Amber Lam at Scrumptious in downtown Arvada last month.