The Izzy Scoop—Trademarked
For anyone who has ever stepped into Izzy’s, the little 3/4-ounce scoop—the Izzy on top—is familiar. But before Izzy’s opened, there was nothing like it in the world.
Twelve years ago, when we were exploring the idea of making ice cream as a business, we had a discussion with a seasoned ice cream maker about how important it was to let the customers taste the ice cream when they came into the shop. His point was that with all of the flavors available, you wanted to try to make sure that person was served the flavor they were dreaming of. He stressed something else as well: that you should strive to provide the customer with a little something extra.
Jeff was inspired by the conversation and shortly afterward, created the Izzy scoop. Today it is our signature, a metaphor that physically demonstrates our approach to business—it’s the little extra step that makes a big difference.
Besides being a symbolic reminder to customers and staff, the Izzy Scoop is also a great way to distinguish Izzy’s from other ice cream shops. Our cones look different with the small scoop hanging out on top, and they are visually memorable—the same way we hope the overall experience of Izzy’s is memorable. Not only does it look great, but the Izzy Scoop is also a cool way to present our product so that people associate our ice cream with our unique approach to business. To make a very long story short, we’ve worked hard over the last 12 years to trademark our Izzy Scoop.
The trademark process is long, complicated, and probably uninteresting. And it might seem like an odd thing to focus on—after all, it’s just a little scoop. But for us, the Izzy Scoop holds a great deal of importance. It was our creative innovation and is an important function of our business. In the end, it became a matter of principal: we believe our society should reward innovation and ideas and safeguard them.
As a small business, we think it is important to protect your creative and intellectual work so that other, perhaps larger companies, won’t benefit from your ideas without paying the innovators. Today, if an ice cream shop wants to put a little scoop on top of their cone and call it the Itty Bitty or some other imitation of the Izzy, they have to license it through us. Our trademarked scoop also means we are now in the position of having to enforce our trademark, so if we come across our familiar Izzy Scoop on a cone that is not ours, we’ll have to kindly tell the owners to stop putting that little scoop on their cones unless they license it.
This was one of those behind-the-scenes projects we took on even though it wasn’t nearly as much fun as making ice cream or being in the shop. We often asked ourselves if the customers would care if the scoop on their ice cream was trademarked. That was hard to answer, but wouldn’t it feel funny if all the ice cream places in town started putting an Izzy Scoop on top? That wouldn’t feel quite right. It would feel like someone stole something from Izzy’s. Izzy’s Ice Cream would love to see the Izzy Scoop take off and become an option for ice cream lovers all over, as long as credit is given to Izzy’s.