Saco will soon be home to a brand-new ice cream parlor…with a twist.
The Saco Scoop is opening this Saturday and is located at 209 Main Street. The twist? It’s not just about the delicious Shain’s of Maine ice cream and Seadog Biscuits being served, it’s also about the side order of community.
This is a project of Saco Main Street and the brain child of Rob Biggs, our executive director.
Saco Main Street is Saco’s downtown development organization. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, independent from the city, that is designated as a Main Street - Maine Community by the Maine Downtown Center and as a National Main Street program. Our organization focuses on promotions and marketing, design and preservation, economic development and volunteer organization to revitalize and improve Saco’s historic downtown area.
In order to fully enhance the effectiveness of our mission, we needed a community hangout, a place to go a socialize with your neighbors and promote all Saco and our downtown has to offer. An equal component of this ice cream shop will center around community engagement. We will offer information on all of our downtown businesses and an opportunity to discover how to plan out an amazing 48 hours in Saco. For tourists and residents alike. Sometimes finding out what’s in your own backyard is equally fun.
The history behind the space is noteworthy. The Saco Scoop is in the original Atkinson furniture store building. Former Saco Mayor Bill Johnson’s wife Mary’s grandfather HP Atkinson, sold furniture in the early 1900s in the exact same space. H.P. Atkinson was the founder of the Atkinson furniture company. We will have photos on the wall of Saco then and now. Reinvigorating a space with so much history is downtown revitalization at it’s best. We hope to transport you back in time and connect with Saco rich, dynamic history.
Saco Main Street just finished creating the new community park next to the Post Office, so having this new ice cream shop right next door is a perfect combination to attract folks to eat, shop, and live in our downtown. Making the downtown a walkable destination with things to do in the evening is a critical element to the future vibrancy of our entire city. When your downtown does well, your whole community does well.
Aside from ice cream, the Saco Scoop will offer merchandise from our area schools, like Thornton Academy. Alumni that come in for reunions for instance will now have a one-stop-shop for all things TA. Perfect timing for all my classmates coming in for my 10-year reunion from Thornton next year! I could use an extra maroon and gold sweatshirt myself.
All of the proceeds of the shop will stay within the community through our nonprofit. It will be put towards the good work we are doing to attract new business development, support and promote the existing businesses that are here, enhance the quality of downtown through service projects, and continue to put on free family-friendly events for all ages.
So that scoop of ice cream doesn’t just fuel your soul, it will fuel our community. Hope to see you at our grand opening this Saturday at 10AM!
Beyond the Headlines
Weekly Column featured in The Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier Newspaper by Rep. Justin Chenette of Saco