Ready to know more about San Diego?


The Sweetest Form of Giving Back

Co-founder of Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream raises $25,000 this year during the city's only charity ice cream fest
Scoop San Diego Ice Cream Festival
Scoop SD

Scoop SD

Scoop San Diego Ice Cream Festival

Daniel Szpak turned his lifelong love of ice cream into a meaningful way to give back. The cofounder of North Park’s beloved Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream sold his share of the frosty favorite a few years back to focus on his career as clinical research nurse, but just couldn’t give up the sweet stuff.

In 2019, he created Scoop San Diego, the city’s first charity ice cream festival. Szpak’s passion project checked all the boxes. It was a fun way to bring people together, give back to the community (100 percent of net proceeds get donated to a local nonprofit), support underserved communities, and treat his taste buds to samplings from an array of local shops.

“I just couldn’t stay away from ice cream!” Szpak says. “So, I thought, ‘how can I still be involved in a project with ice cream and gelato and paletas, but not own a business?’ Immediately I came up with an idea—there’s not a lot of ice cream festivals in the country, let alone the world.”

The inaugural Scoop San Diego ice cream festival in June 2019 had about 20 vendors and raised $20,000 for the Monarch School. A virtual version in 2020 raised $5,000 for Home Start and a drive-thru festival the following year brought in $16,000 and more than 3,000 pounds of donated food for Feeding San Diego. This year’s event was held in North Park’s new mini-park and raised $25,000 for the Alpha Project.

“I decided to choose a different local nonprofit organization every year thinking that could be a good way to spread the wealth, spread the support,” Szpak says.

The most recent festival featured a VIP area and exclusive flavors created special for the event by six local ice cream chefs. Though the 2022 edition of Scoop San Diego was just last month, Szpak and his team are already planning for next year. The date hasn’t been set yet but without a doubt, it will be even more mouthwatering.

“The event was really successful this year and I’ve learned a lot, and I’m just taking a few minutes every day to be grateful,” he says. “It’s great to see an idea from just a couple years ago come to fruition and to actually put together an event that’s really fun for the community. It’s ice cream, so people are happy, and then when people find out that it’s all for a good cause it just, no pun intended, sweetens the entire deal.”

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA