POCATELLO — What started as a way for Pocatello native Tyson Sparrow to get his father a slower paced job amid concerns for his health has now become one of the best ice cream shops in Idaho, Scoops N Sliders on Yellowstone Ave.

Tyson said his family had always talked of opening an ice cream shop together but never made moves on the idea. He finally decided to buy a 6-quart ice cream machine last summer and has since made his family’s dream a reality.

Scoops N Sliders opened in September 2021 at 345 Yellowstone Ave. It was voted best dessert in the state for 2022 by Idaho’s Best Business Awards.

There’s nothing else like Scoops N Sliders in Pocatello. The ice cream shop has new, innovative flavors rotating constantly on its menu, and all of its ice cream is made small batch, in-house and with love by the Sparrow family.

The ice cream flavors range from classic chocolate and vanilla to their own creations of Skittles, caramel apple cheesecake and heavenly lemon pie, among other unique combinations of delicious and locally sourced ingredients.

In addition to scoops, the shop offers ice cream pies and “sliders,” their ice cream sandwich made with Scoops N Sliders’ ice cream and fresh cookies.

Rod Sparrow, Tyson’s father, was able to retire from his longtime job at Albertsons grocery store, where he worked as service deli manager. His health scare last summer was the catalyst for his family’s successful ice cream shop.

“I was working at Albertsons, and I was really struggling,” Rod said. “My son said, ‘How about let’s start this ice cream shop that you’ve wanted to do for 20 years? I want to get you out of Albertsons.’ He wanted to get me out of the stress because it did come to be very stressful the last two years.”

The entire Sparrow family stepped up to help launch Scoops N Sliders, a feat that has required money, time and labor to staff and operate the shop, create delicious ice cream flavors and remodel the space that the shop now occupies.

The ice cream store’s clientele has grown organically through word-of-mouth among locals and people visiting or passing through Pocatello. When the business first opened, the family was making about 20 batches of ice cream each week. Now, they’re regularly making just under or over 50 a week.

“It’s a lot of labor, but we have that one special ingredient that nobody else has in their ice cream: love,” Tyson said. “The whole idea for this is that we absolutely enjoy what we do. We grew up here and this is something that I think our community deserves: fresh-made ice cream in a family environment.”

Rod said the ice cream shop is more than he could have ever hoped for. His favorite part about working there is meeting his customers. He said he wants Scoops N Sliders to be a place where people can come and spend quality time.

“I might be at the door with my cane when I’m 90, saying, ‘Welcome to Scoops N Sliders,’” Rod said. “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy ice cream and that’s almost the same thing. I’m gonna put that on a T-shirt.”

The Sparrows’ goal for their shop in the future is just to continue building community around ice cream. Profit is secondary to their happiness.

“Everybody loves ice cream. Ice cream makes people smile,” Tyson said. “We just want people to come in and try it so we can see them smile.”

Scoops N Sliders is open Tuesday through Thursday 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Reach them at 208-646-8111, by email at scoopsnsliders@gmail.com, or on Facebook at Scoops N Sliders.