Santa Cruz ice cream shop gets sweet surprise

The Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz got an unexpected thank you phone call from the vice president. Co-owners Kendra Baker and Zach Davis made a YouTube video thanking the government for stimulus money received and it gained the atention of Joe Biden.
November 11, 2010 8:18:27 PM PST
The Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz must get too busy to answer phone calls sometimes because it has one of those automated systems that requires callers to press a digit to get its address or the flavor of the week. If you press 3, you get to a store employee. Somebody from Washington, D.C. did that yesterday. It was Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden called owners Kendra Baker and Zachary Davis to thank them for posting a YouTube video that credits the federal stimulus program for helping to finance their business.

"He said how much he likes ice cream, and he talked a little bit about the act and the legislation," Baker said.

Baker and Davis qualified for a $250,000 loan from the program. At last count, their two and a half minute video has been viewed 13,741 times.

"People like to see examples of things that work, and that's why we were thankful because this was a policy that was put in place that did what it was supposed to do; enabled us to start a business and employ people and pay contractors," Davis said.

"People like to see examples of things that work, and that's why we were thankful because this was a policy that was put in place that did what it was supposed to do; enabled us to start a business and employ people and pay contractors,"

They've hired 10 part-time workers and one full-time employee. They also purchased a pasteurizer and an ice cream freezer, both made in the U.S., with the loan money.

Baker and Davis admit it's a challenging time to start a new venture. They spent two years developing a business plan and they believe they are offering something unique at the penny ice creamery.

"You're getting this amazing product that you can't have very many places. We offer a hand-made cone, everything. We make everything from scratch except for our root beer," Baker said.

Economic recovery is a slow process.

"One shop at a time, and every little bit helps. And if it's something this good, that's a bonus, isn't it?" ice cream store customer Jennifer Patino said.

Even a 6-year-old finicky Daniel Patino-Fredrickson likes this place.

"Come to the Penny Ice Cream Store. It's delicious," he said.

The government is guaranteeing 90 percent of the loan and they have been profitable since day one.


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