Ice cream shop opens

PNT staff report

Green tea ice cream? Yes.

Portales chef Victor Castillo and his wife, Rosalinda, have opened a new ice cream shop, The Skoop, that features 16 flavors of ice cream, malts, sundaes, Italian soda, candy, pickles and more. They are showcasing their green tea and coffee ice cream flavors.

“We’re going to be a concession-type of restaurant,” Castillo said. “The reason why we’re doing that is because the kids don’t have a nice place to go here. We want to bring the kids into a safe haven.”

Castillo said he and his wife also want to give the young a taste of an old-fashioned ice cream shop.

The Skoop opened for business Monday in the Sands Shopping Center on First Street.

In the next few months, Castillo hopes to increase his offerings to include 50 varieties of ice cream, pretzels, nachos, popcorn and half-pound, foot-long hot dogs. He intends to expand the facility to house a game room and catering service as well.

Even now, Castillo said, he will organize and cater parties, including food and entertainment.

Castillo also plans to offer prizes for the Portales Public Library Summer Reading Program, and wants to find out how to participate in the Book It! program with the schools.

Mark Vigil, Castillo’s employer, inspired him to open the ice cream shop. The chef said that when Vigil fulfilled his dream of opening Vines Italian Restaurant, where Castillo still cooks part time, he wanted to see Castillo’s dream happen as well.

The Skoop also arose from a conversation between the Castillos about opening a business that Portales didn’t have. They discussed a roller rink and movie theater, but decided an ice cream shop best targeted young adults.

“And nobody will break a leg,” Castillo said.

With a new grandson, Castillo also wanted to leave his family something for the future.

Two months since the couple’s conversation, they’re in business with their son, Roman, and his fiance, Ashley.

“And now that I’m a new business owner, I’ll tell you this: it may look simple when you walk into a business, but the detail that goes into it, it’s very intricate,” Castillo said.

Nonetheless, he plans to open another location in Clovis within a year.