Scoop Shop Opens in Sunapee. It’s a Dream Come True.

Beck Johnson and his sister Maranda get ready for the May 1st Grand Opening of Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream in Sunapee.

It’s a dream come true for Beck Johnson, age 10, a fourth grader in Sunapee. On May 1st, he officially opens his new business, a scoop shop—Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream, located at 209 Route 103, along John Paul’s Flat between the Mount Sunapee circle and the intersection of routes 11 and 103.

For three years, Beck has worked toward his dream. He now has his state and local permits, commercial kitchen, menu boards and street sign ready. He’s stocked the shop with ice cream, toppings, sodas and even low-fat, no-sugar-added choices. Beck is ready for Saturday’s grand opening

Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream will be open May through October 12 to 8 p.m. The service and support team includes two important family members, Beck’s sister Maranda Deane and their mother Sue Johnson. Others will help as well.

After a soft opening last weekend, Beck and Sue said they are pleased with how the shop came together. Beck has worked on every aspect of the enterprise from the building foundation, interior and exterior to all the permitting requirements, Sue explained.

To raise the investment capital for the shop, goods and equipment, in recent years the young entrepreneur sold vegetables, farm crops and lemonade during the summer and into the fall. He also studied the scoop shop business and learned about making ice cream by attending a Food Science course at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Beck and Maranda, at the scoop shop counter, are part of the team that will be serving customers May through October.

Beck and Sue, in an interview Thursday afternoon at the shop, quickly pointed to the help and “good work” provided by others. From Sunapee, Joan Chandler painted the sign and Jeff Trow crafted the rough-sawn pine counter that welcomes visitors to two service windows. Mike Simmons provided carpentry; Santti Daniels did the cement work; and Paul Manson helped with the awning and other installations. Builder Tim Knight, Dublin, worked on the flooring and walls.

As for the ice cream, it comes from Walpole Creamery, explained Beck. They use their own hormone-free milk and cream versus batched ingredients, Sue said.

Walpole’s “premium” ice cream is all-natural, with no artificial ingredients—perfect for cones, sundaes, shakes and floats, all on scoop shop menu. It earned a Best of New Hampshire Award in 2009. Carmel Cashew Chip, Ginger and Vanilla are the most popular ice cream flavors, Beck said. Vanilla continues to be the top seller, Sue added. The mango ice cream sounds tasty.

An important factor in selecting Walpole Creamery ice cream is to “support to fellow New Hampshire dairy farms…our dairy farms are in real trouble,” said Beck, a tenth-generation dairy farmer. His father Jolyon Johnson, who Beck gives special thanks, is the local vet and operates the 750-acre Sanctuary Dairy Farm. (It was the elder Johnson, when he was a boy, who named it Sanctuary Farm, so as to provide a “call name” for its registered cows, explained the Johnsons.)

From Gifford, another New England producer, there is fat-free and low and no-sugar-added choices, such as Rainbow sherbet or Moose Track frozen yogurt. “Old-fashioned beverages” from Squamscot are neatly lined up in the cooler…Birch Beer, Black Cherry, Diet Cola, Raspberry Lemonade, Yup and other flavors.

At Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream, Romney Southdown sheep graze in the yard.

There are picnic tables, a sand box for children, wildlife to watch, and miles of hiking trails that connect-up with the old railroad bed and snowmobile trails in the area. Romney Southdown sheep and this year’s lambs graze in the yard pens. There are Rhode Island Reds and a pair of rabbits, as well.

It’s scenic, local and delicious. Yesterday, I ordered a chocolate shake. As Beck would say, it was: “Yummy!”

For more information about Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream, call 603-863-8940 or email:

Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream is on Facebook.

2 Responses

  1. FANTASTIC! Local people doing local commerce using locally-sourced foods. You just cannot get any better than that!

    And Walpole Creamery ice cream is the best!

    I will be spending lots of summer ice cream money right here locally.

    Remember: Eating is an agricultural act!

    Congratulations and good luck!

  2. We saw the sign last night! We’re so excited and look forward to many visits this summer. Good luck with the new business Beck. Great job! We’ll see you later today!

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