August 14, 2006 Terkel

Mardi and Denny Moore’s tale was told to us over the screaming and wailing of six excited young boys all wanting their ice cream. The only thought of mine that I was able to hear was the song, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!” (The kids obviously didn’t stop until they got their desserts). But, in the silence that followed, we heard Denny and Mardi’s story of their career paths. It seems that the couple became fed up with playing the politics of Corporate America and found a much needed sense of peace with Scooter’s Frozen Custard.

When Denny was a young boy growing up, he remembers accompanying his grandfather on trips to the city to pick up fresh dairy, the Chicago Tribune and an ice cream cone from the local ice cream shop. Two square scoops of ice cream were placed on a cake cone and taken to the tracks to watch the trains go by. The two of them sat while Denny devoured his reward for companionship. Denny still holds memories of these trips to town dear.

As a grown up, Denny spent 30 years in the telecommunications business, while his wife Mardi worked in sales and later marketing. The greed, politics, and clamor in Corporate America finally wore on them and the two opted to leave their respective industries to work on their golf games. In the couple years of playing around with their savings, they developed an interest in frozen custard. Mardi remembers her first encounter with frozen custard. It was during college, at a stand in Indiana simply entitled “The Frozen Custard Stand.”

This interest led them to get into the “memory” business, (what’s the “memory” business? Did they say this? If they did, what were they referring to? If it’s the ice cream business, then the sentence should read…..”This interest led them to enter the ice cream business, (or based of their fondness of ice cream) the “memory” business, as they referred to it.”) In June of 2003, they opened up Scooter’s Frozen Custard, located on Belmont Ave at Paulina in (downtown?) Chicago. The store is uniquely situated in a quaint neighborhood in Chicago where people know their neighbors and their kids grow up together. It’s a place where trees give the sidewalks plenty of shade for those walking or riding their bikes to enjoy the summer. Realtors use Scotter’s as a point of reference adding to positive attribute of the neighborhood, while residents use it as a place to convene to share stories and laughter.

For Mardi and Denny Moore, Scooter’s is a place whose bad workdays don’t compare to the constant grind of Corporate America. The couple has put their bad memories of their corporate careers behind them in exchange for helping create memories in their local community in Chicago.