Tuesday, August 12, 2008

PSA: Rite Aid Thifty Style Ice Cream Scoop

I'm calling this a "PSA / Public Service Announcement" for the benefit of the foodie community.

If you've ever had an ice cream cone from a Thrifty Drug Store, now known as Rite-Aid Drugstores, you know they are well-known not just for the inexpensive ice cream cones (when I was a teenager in the 1970s, a single scoop was 10 cents), but for the interesting cylindrical shape of the "scoop" -- which wasn't a scoop at all, but rather a slice of a "tube shape."

I don't know why the shape intriques so many, but I'm right with those customers who have asked many a scooper, over time, where and how they could get a Thrifty Ice Cream Scoop.

All one used to hear in reply was "They are made for and patented by Thrifty" (or Rite-Aid) and there was no further discussion. I'm sure over the years there has been many an employee who adopted one out to a family member, and now, from time to time, they show up for sale on eBay at astronomical prices. I've seen the bids open at $50.00, and it isn't unusual to sell at over $100.00, and the buyers are happy to get them. What price, nostalgia?

This PSA post is for the benefit of all. Hope is on the Horizon. Just by sheer luck I stumbled across the right search terms when I was trying to find another one of the scoops. The Thrifty version is actually a stainless steel trigger-mechanism device, not unlike an "ice cream caulk gun" as seen here.

As I said, these turn up on eBay starting at $50.00 on a fairly regular basis.

What you're looking for, however, is a reasonably priced alternative. This is called the Ice Cream Stacker. They, too, show up on eBay, but they are a reasonable facsimile, accomplish the same task in the same shape as the Rite Aid Ice Cream Scooper (see how I'm using all the right key words in my PSA?) and in keeping with Alton Brown's rule of "no single task gadgets", can be used for many things in the kitchen, from cookie and biscuit cutting to making stacked appetizers and sandwiches. Assemble your canapes or filo pastries, press, cut, and eject your stacked snack. Voila!

You can find an Ice Cream Stacker at a few sources online. I bought mine at Wrapables for $14.95. Fast shipping, I had it in 3 days. You can also find them at Nieman-Marcus, exact same product, for $15.00 each.

Now, I need to make space in my freezer for my ice cream freezer bowl, which is never ready because my freezer is always jammed. Then, I need to browse my Perfect Scoop cookbook.

Or I could just head to Rite Aid and buy a brick of ice cream to play with, which is much more likely.


  1. Our local Rite-Aids, which are relatively new to the area, never dished up ice cream. What an interesting shape. I think your blog name is a good one. I hated mine the minute I put it up.

  2. Too COOL ... I love gadgets like this!


  3. Arlene, your blog name is great! You can't get any more basic than food equals love. I've loved food far too often to know that's true. Just ask my ass. Plus, look at it this way. It's one of Emeril's favorite quotes, and he was, oh, I'd say moderately successful in his career, wouldn't you agree?

  4. I made blueberry bars with a crumble one week ago. I had a recipe just a tad different. I did put the zest in the bottom crust. OMG was it ever good. Two grandsons, their cousin, one uncle, one son in law, Mr. Wii Knee, and another grandfather to the kids........ate ALL of it before they went to the Royals game. Some ate way more than one piece. They did say it was good. Your recipe looks every bit as good! Keep up the good work.


  5. NYC Rite Aids don't sell ice cream cones!!!We are missing out.

    What gives?

  6. Rite Aid was the GO TO place for ice cream when you were a kid, broke, or a student, or all three. The cones are up to $1.19 now, but they have always been the least expensive buy around. It isn't super premium, however.

    So, I guess there are trade offs. We don't have the wonderful food carts. No samosa guy, pretzel guy, hot dog guy. We do have one dodgy looking tamale cart by the courthouse, but that's about it. No Papaya and Dog, no chick pea curry from that corner in Mahattan.

    No, we get cheap ice cream cones.
    You got the better end of that deal for sure!

  7. I just bought one of those stacker scooper things while I was in Seattle last week. Wow! I think they are so cool. Hope it works well.

  8. This brings back memories! I used to walk to Thrifty with my best friend. We'd go with a quarter and use the change to get a gumball from the machine. Wow. Thanks for the PSA :)

  9. I got a Cuisipro Ice Cream Scoop&Stack a few weeks ago and the item is junk! It didn't hold up for more than four uses before the locking mechanism for the handle failed. The cylinder pops off if you are not careful on how hard you push the plunger down.

    I recommend NOT getting this item.

  10. John

    My locking mechanism has given me no problems, the item works fine, but it just isn't very efficient. It annoys me, I confess. For one thing, pushing the cylinder into the tub of ice cream doesn't "scoop" it up so you really need to be able to "slide it off" to the side to keep the tube shape intact. It's more annoying than helpful, which I suppose is one reason the Rite Aid tools sell for so much on eBay. I'm not going to find out. My experiment isn't crucial. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I have been looking for a thrifty ice cream scooper for years. Had no idea Rite Aid was the replacement for Thirfty. We have one in the area, but it doesn't have ice cream to my knowledge.

    It's really too bad they don't sell their ice cream scoops in the stores. What a missed opportunity! I know people would buy one.

    Anyway, I just ordered one of these units and can't wait to try it out.

  12. Like everybody else here, I've also been looking for a thrifty ice cream scooper for awhile and this was the first page that I had visited since it was the first result on Google.

    http://www.theicecreamscooper.com/ was the closest ice cream scooper that I could find without shelling out over a 100$ on ebay. I also tried the Cuisipro which was recommended above last year, but I'll have to say it just isn't the same. Anyways, this is just a heads up to anyone else also looking for the scooper and doesn't want to buy it off ebay.