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Vincent Chen scoops out place on campus for new business

Vivian Lang / Thresher

By Zoe Katz     1/24/23 10:29pm

From Coffeehouse to The Hoot, Rice students love to frequent student-run businesses. Vincent Chen, a Duncan College junior, hopes to start a new one: Rice Scoopz.

According to Chen, he has always loved eating ice cream, but he didn’t learn how to make it until the pandemic. His hobby eventually grew into a business, he said, and he delivered his confections to people’s doors. Now, he’s making ice cream in his house to sell to Rice students.

“Some people started baking, or doing crochet. For me, it was, ‘Okay, I’m gonna start making ice cream,’” Chen said. “It took me two weeks to make a good vanilla ice cream that I liked. It was a lot of trial and error, but I feel like that’s the fun part of it.”

Chen said his ice cream flavors are inspired by the world around him.

“The other day, I had tomato basil soup and it was really thick and creamy. I was like ‘I could make this into ice cream’,” said Chen.

Rice Scoopz currently sells five flavors: Cookies and Cream, Double Chocolate, Honey Lemon Crumble, Afternoon Coffee and Breakfast Cereal. However, Chen said this selection of flavors will likely expand.

“I usually have more ideas than I have time to do,” Chen said. “Right now, I have 20 to 30 [potential flavors] on my phone … I’m always open to new suggestions.”

According to Chen, he has a food handler’s license and marks common allergens on the bottom of his ice cream containers because he wants his business to be more inclusive.

“I want to expand Rice Scoopz to be more accommodating to people who are vegan or can’t have dairy, because I’m actually lactose intolerant myself,” said Chen.

Although Rice Scoopz is new, it is growing. Chen plans to sell his ice cream at the monthly Archi Markets, as well as in the Rice Memorial Center courtyard, if Rice permits. Chen also has an Instagram page to advertise his business.

Chen said he currently makes and sells the ice cream by himself, charging $5 for each container. As Rice Scoopz becomes more popular, he said he may face new challenges.

“If I do have to expand, and more people want to try my ice cream, I’m down for that. I’ll find a way to balance it with school,” Chen said. “If [Rice Scoopz] becomes a really big thing, that’s a good problem to have.”

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