Chill out in North Park at Scoop San Diego


With the anticipated arrival of a brand-new dessert festival next month, there’s need to run after the ice cream truck.

The sweet event, Scoop San Diego, hits the streets of North Park on Sunday, June 23. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m., dessert lovers can indulge in ice cream, gelato and sorbet samples. Currently, 20 vendors are participating, and more businesses are expected to sign up within the coming weeks.

All vendors will serve a 1-2 oz. sample of one or two flavors. (For reference, an average scoop is 4-5 oz.) Some shops will offer their favorite products, while others plan to craft recipes exclusively for the festival. There were also be non-dairy and vegan options from more than half the vendors.

Though the featured flavors have not yet been released, they will be announced on Scoop San Diego’s Instagram and Facebook pages closer to the event.

For $20, buy a single ticket and choose 10 samples to taste. If attending with friends or family, consider a $35 sharable option, which grants the ticket holder a sample from every vendor to share with the group.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Monarch School, a nonprofit in Barrio Logan that educates students impacted by homelessness. The chefs at Stella Jean’s in University Heights, one of the participating vendors, will work with the students to brainstorm a new flavor using produce from their school’s garden. Once a recipe is decided, the chefs and students will make and serve the final product at the event.

This give-back attitude is what Scoop San Diego is all about. Daniel Szpak, president and founder of Scoop San Diego, is the previous co-owner of North Park shop Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream. After selling his share in the company, Szpak decided to start Scoop San Diego to use his life-long passion to give back to the city.

“Our vision is to celebrate the joy of ice cream as a catalyst for social connection and human compassion,” Szpak said.

Through the festival, he also seeks to highlight the wide variety of ice cream and gelato shops, both new and old, that have contributed to the growth of San Diego’s dessert market.

“One of my main goals in creating Scoop San Diego is to celebrate the evolving craft ice cream and gelato scene here, while respecting and showing love for the shops that have given San Diegans joy for many years,” he continued. “I want to bring them all together in one place for everyone to enjoy.”

Other San Diego businesses and artists will also be joining in on the fun. For example, one small business owner is donating leftover paint for a local artist to create a colorful mural, which will serve as a selfie wall at the event for guests to document the experience.

The festival will be set up directly behind The Observatory North Park. Attendees are encouraged to get there early to find parking and start lining up to gobble down the goods, give back to the community, and sprinkle in some fun this summer.

Scoop San Diego Ice Cream Festival

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., June 23
Where: North Park Way and 30th St., North Park
Phone: 619.889.5458