By Katie Bohannon, News Editor
Downtown Gadsden just got a lot sweeter.
On September 4, husband and wife team Kossi and Tanita Amegble opened Scoop Du Jour Creamery & Desserts at 512 A Broad Street, a specialty shop filled with mouth-watering treats that sprinkle a bit of happiness into every bite.
From the moment the Amegbles debuted their new venture on First Friday, Scoop Du Jour unearthed unprecedented success. Since then, the community response continues to flourish with positivity, welcoming a shop crafted with its best interest at heart. But the creamery was not born on a whim – it is the result of something greater.
Married for 17 years with three boys, Tanita and Kossi first met at Gadsden State Community College in 2001. Nearly two decades later, the pair remain inseparable. While Tanita owns a local hair salon, Kossi served as a manager at Goodyear. After the plant’s recent closure, the couple were faced with a choice: Kossi could search for alternative career paths, or create one of his own.
Although the couple bounced around ideas for businesses in the past, they never dreamed their collective venture would manifest in a creamery. Inspired by their frequent trips to Birmingham and fond memories of Florida, the Amegbles recognized a pattern in other communities that Gadsden lacked – an ice cream parlor. As avid ice cream lovers themselves, Tanita and Kossi wanted to share their passion for delicious and quality treats (and unforgettable experiences) with their community. After much deliberation and prayer, they knew that ice cream was their next adventure.
But this voyage walked hand in hand with an ultimatum. If the Amegbles could not settle in the 500 block of Downtown Gadsden, they did not want to risk the challenge. Although they found themselves searching for the perfect location on Broad Street, they faced doubt and uncertainty that a building would become available. Yet, when Tanita’s friend, C&J’s Crab Shack owner Jazmine Winston, decided to move her boutique, Scoop Du Jour found its new home.
“With the blessing of God, this came open,” said Kossi. “I can look at it as a miracle because we didn’t anticipate anything coming open. We were ready to move out of Gadsden. It was a blessing.”
“We were praying for something,” said Tanita. “Everything we did came together without a problem or a struggle.”
While the Amegbles tackled a renovation to transform the building, perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of developing their business was determining the name. Tanita confessed that they sifted through hundreds of names, brainstorming different titles to discover something catchy and unique that reflects creamery’s atmosphere. Finally, they settled on a name that encompasses their relationship, emerging as a blend of their two personalities.
Although Tanita hails from Gadsden, Kossi is from Africa and speaks French. The perfect fusion of French and English (and Kossi and Tanita) resulted in Scoop Du Jour, translating to “Scoop of the day.” Scoop Du Jour also embraces the rustic French style that appears in the creamery’s classic and neutral décor, creating a calm and warm environment where adults and children alike feel at ease.
Once Tanita and Kossi laid the foundation for their parlor, one final ingredient remained: the ice cream.
“It took a lot of study,” said Kossi. “We’re trying to bring the best quality product that’s different from the basics. We studied the taste of the big cities we always go to. Even though Gadsden is kind of a small town, we wanted to bring something from the big city here. We don’t want to bring anything that’s cheap quality.”
Those months of study resulted in a plethora of flavors appearing on Scoop Du Jour’s ever-evolving menu. From classics like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookie dough and Rocky Road to unique combinations like coffee almond fudge, pistachio and cinnamon, Scoop Du Jour provides customers with 24 options to curb all their cravings. Tanita noted that while traditional favorites will always remain popular, locals have flocked to flavors like sea salt caramel (Kossi’s favorite), sea turtle and blueberry cheesecake.
If none of the creamery’s current options appeal to intrigued visitors, guests can create their own customized ice cream by blending any combination of flavors into a unique dessert developed specifically for them.
While Scoop Du Jour masters the art of creating delicious ice cream, the creamery also features other desserts as well. Tanita and Kossi craft homemade waffle cones to accompany servings and offer treats like milkshakes and banana pudding to please any palette.
As they evoke smiles on their guests’ faces, Tanita and Kossi reflect on their wishes for their community and all who walk through their door.
“Besides the ice cream, [we want customers to receive] customer service,” said Kossi. “The experience they have when they walk in this building; the joy that’s going to make them come back. We have to make sure they feel comfortable.”
“We want [customers] to feel cared about,” said Tanita. “Because we do care about them.”
While Tanita and Kossi already envision expanding Scoop Du Jour in the future and hope to eventually transform their parlor into a franchise, their new starter home on Broad Street is here to stay.
Kossi and Tanita represent the success that manifests from commitment and hope. Through combining their faith and dedication, the couple create an inviting space enriched with joy, where customers receive more than delicious desserts – but the promise of a memorable and personalized experience with each visit. With every heartwarming ‘hello,’ and kind gesture, the Amegbles sweeten the community, providing their guests with the perfect taste of happiness and inspiring them to return time and time again.
“I know that the time we’re living in is different with the pandemic,” said Kossi. “We just have to trust God. If you have a plan, trust God and go for it. Listen to that voice. That’s the same thing we did. Anybody that’s doubted because of the moment we’re living in, just give it a chance. If you have a dream, go for it.”
“Because what’s for you, is for you,” said Tanita.