Where we've been, where we are, and where we're going.
This year, The WooHoo is entering our fourth season selling homemade ice cream and fresh food in Beach Haven. It really doesn’t feel like it has been that long, but it has. We aren’t the new kids on the block anymore. I remember our first week open, vividly. We were rushed to open- we had to. We funded The WooHoo using money we’d saved for a house to get a bank loan. The loan closed in June, but construction delays pushed us into July. We had to start making payments on the loan, but we had no money coming in to make them. On top of that, we were losing employees left and right, and if we waited any longer, we wouldn’t have any staff to open if we were even able to open before the end of the season. Everyone involved in the project told us we’d never get it open and that we’d have to push it to the next season, but we had no choice, we had to rush everything through as quickly as possible- by some miracle, a lot of our own labor, and a lot of help from friends and family, we were able to finish construction mid-July, get our CO and health code approval the next day, have our soft-open the day after that, then open for the public the next day and get half a season in 2015. On our second day in the kitchen we were serving our full menu to customers. It was not how we planned to open The WooHoo and it was a very, very… very rocky start. The people on this island were amazing though. You were all very patient and you stuck with us while we found our footing. We’re still finding our footing, but we’re a little more on solid ground these days, transitioning into a more mature company.
That’s where we’ve been, so where are we now? We’ve spent the last few seasons pushing out various products and listening to your feedback, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and we think we’ve honed a tight menu. We’re a homemade ice cream parlor and fresh casual quick service restaurant, and that’s what we’ve always aimed to be. We also work hard to differentiate ourselves from other local restaurants- if we’ve got a limited menu, we don’t want to sell you what everyone else is selling you. You’ll never see a huge menu from us and you’ll likely never see things like chicken nuggets, pizza, cheesesteaks, fried chicken, gelato, Italian ice, a wide variety of soft serve, etc. We do think though, that we’ve developed a delicious menu with a variety of top notch food and ice cream. We will continue to experiment, push the envelope, and add to the menu when it is appropriate.
We’re also expanding our wholesaling. We began a small amount of wholesaling last season. The wholesaling we did in 2017 afforded us a huge amount of insight into the process and enabled us to develop a production and distribution system for year-round wholesaling. Over the winter, we’ve been in contact with area restaurants and markets, and we plan to make WooHoo ice cream available at several locations in the Southern Ocean County area, both year-round and seasonally. Some spots will sell pints, cups, and ice cream sandwiches in a market setting for you to take home and enjoy, and others will have creative concoctions on their menus that we’ve made just for them.
Along with this growth comes a growth in community involvement. From day one, we’ve given back to this community wherever possible, and our involvement has increased every season. We frequently donate ice cream, gift certificates, and money to a wide variety of organizations- David’s Dream and Believe, Beach Haven Fire Department, Southern Regional and Pinelands Regional School Districts, the Lighthouse International Film Festival, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, and many more. As we grow, we plan to continually increase our presence in the community. This is the future of The WooHoo. We want to be a staple of this community- engrained… not just as a business in the community, but a part of the community, and we can’t wait to get there with you.