A Fond Farewell: “Scoops” Owners Retire

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 8, 2022
Here’s the Scoop owners Bob and Ellie Patterson (right) have sold the beloved shop; new manager Gabriel Sundholm has taken the reins

For nearly 18 years, Here’s the Scoop (aka Scoops) owners Bob and Ellie Patterson have operated their beloved Coast Village Road gelateria, scooping their daily house-made gelato and sorbet for dozens of customers every day. “Scoopie,” as the Pattersons have lovingly referred to their successful business, is a feel-good staple on Coast Village Road, and the duo have become known for their tireless involvement in the Montecito community over the years. 

The Pattersons say that the shop has been a dream come true. The couple met in the 1980s while working in the technology industry; they moved to Santa Barbara in 1995 from just outside of L.A. Their daughter, Alex, who was at Montecito Union School at the time, had the idea to open a gelato shop after Baskin-Robbins had closed on Coast Village Road. Ellie and Bob ran with it, journeying to Italy to learn the ins and outs of producing authentic gelato, and researching equipment in which to do so. 

“Our vision for our new endeavor was to not only make the best gelato and sorbet, but to become a welcoming part of this amazing community,” Ellie writes in a farewell letter to her customers. “We wanted to be the place kids wanted to come to after school, plays, recitals, games, and graduation.” Ellie also knew she wanted to incorporate her love for our local farmers’ markets in the shop. “Part of our vision was to create a relationship with local farms and purchase as much fruit, vegetables, and herbs from them as possible,” she said. The couple became known for their creative offerings such as sorbets made with lemon and lavender, mango and passionfruit, blood orange, and more. The offerings change seasonally, depending on what’s available at the local farmers’ markets. 

The shop opened on April 2, 2004, in the lower level of what’s now called Coast Village Plaza. Back then, the intoxicating scent of homemade waffle cones would waft up to Coast Village Road, luring customers down the stairs to the sunken patio. In 2017, the shop moved to the main level, attracting more foot traffic and positioned to be the go-to place for something sweet after dinner on Coast Village. The shop has always been adorned with artwork from local school children, which rotates monthly. A year after opening, the Pattersons purchased a mobile gelato cart to be able to serve gelato and sorbet at community events, including the Montecito Union School Carnival, Beautification Day, local taste events, and private weddings. 

“Our fondest memories will be the wonderful kids, some as young as three or four years old when they started coming to Scoops, that we were able to watch grow… and eventually graduate from elementary and high school and college,” Ellie said. “We were also fortunate to have so many amazing employees through the years. We’ve even been honored to have been invited to three of their weddings.”

Their daughter Alex, who had her first job at the shop at age 14, is now married and has three of her own children. The Pattersons intend to move out of state to be closer to Alex and her family. “We want to watch them grow up,” Bob said, adding that spending time with the grandchildren was a large part of the decision to sell the business. 

The new owner, who wishes to be out of the spotlight, lives in Montecito and has brought on ice cream expert Gabriel Sundholm to manage the shop. Sundholm has nearly two decades in the ice cream industry, most recently with Rori’s Artisanal Creamery in Montecito. The Pattersons have taught Sundholm their recipes and trade secrets, and the plan is for the store and its offerings to stay relatively the same. Sundholm says he even plans on hosting the coveted costume contest during Ghost Village Road festivities, and serving the Pattersons’ famous “worms ‘n’ dirt” gelato. 

“We will treasure the many happy memories with our customers, many of whom who have become dear friends over the years,” Ellie said. 

Here’s the Scoop is located at 1187 Coast Village Road and is open seven days a week.  


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