Scott Spears has four busi­nesses in Olde Town and is work­ing on a fifth

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Pey­ton Gar­cia

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.”

Seth McCon­nell, Spe­cial to The Den­ver Post

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.”

Seth McCon­nell, Spe­cial to The Den­ver Post

Jaime Grimm-Rice and her daugh­ter, Izzy Rice, or­der ice cream from Am­ber Lam at Scrump­tious in down­town Arvada last month.

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