It’s one small scoop for 50 women, one giant sundae for womankind.
In a playful stand against the well-documented 20-percent pay gap afflicting women in the workplace, a Kips Bay ice cream parlor — known for liquor-infused flavors like vanilla bean bourbon and strawberry white sangria sorbet — will serve 80-cent scoops to its first 50 female customers on International Women’s Day.
The smash-the-patriarchy deal means men who show up early at Tipsy Scoop Barlour this afternoon will still pay the full $4.90.
“Women’s rights are really important to us,” says 30-year-old Tipsy Scoop founder and CEO Melissa Tavss, whose ice creamery is women-owned and mostly women-operated and whose Manhattan shop opened to long lines in May 2017. “For International Women’s Day … we wanted to just draw attention to the gender gap in the best way we could — by giving an additional treat to our female clientele.”
According to the New York City Department of Small Business Services, male New Yorkers own 1.5 times the number of businesses as women, employ 3.5 times the number of individuals and generate 4.5 times the amount of revenue. That’s in spite of the fact that New York’s more than 200,000 women entrepreneurs contribute about $50 billion annually in revenue.
Tipsy Scoop saw its sales rise 400 percent year-over-year in 2017, and the five-year-old company is profitable, Tavss says. Its first eight employees — including Tavss and her business partner, COO Lyz Levy — are all female. Since expanding from wholesale retail, catering and online sales to a brick-and-mortar shop, Tipsy Scoop’s staff has added nine more, and “we do have three men now, but we like them,” Tavss kids.
An all-woman workforce was never the conscious intent, says the former marketer for liquor brands. “It just kind of worked out that way, and we all got along really well,” recalls Tavss, who’s worked with mostly female co-workers and bosses her entire career. “Then we looked around one day, and we’re like, ‘Wow, this is an all-girl company.’ And we were all doing everything, like lifting this crazy heavy ice cream, delivering.”
Not that everyone who walks into the shop on East 26th Street can picture that, Tavss notes. “People often come into the store asking me for the owner, ‘Can I speak to him?’ They cannot imagine that the owner would be a young woman. We get calls and inquiries like that every day.”
Running a small business leaves Tavss’ team less time than they’d like to engage in politics, she tells us, but a contingent of six staffers did attend the Women’s March in midtown this year.
“We really wanted to do something for [International Women’s Day] because we’re so swamped all the time and we can’t participate as much as we want to,” says the ice cream maker.
For women claiming their 80-cent scoop in the name of gender equality today, all 15 flavors are on the table, but Tavss recommends the cake batter vodka martini flavor as “fun and good for celebrations,” and mango margarita, “depending on how warm it is.”
Ladies, no matter the weather, bring your ID. You have to be 21+ to enjoy this boozy taste of feminism.
The Tipsy Scoop Barlour is located at 217 E. 26th St. (between Second and Third avenues). It opens at 2 p.m. Thursdays.