What's the scoop on the skimpy sampling at Nuggs?

Categories: The Dish

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For months I passed by the future home of Nuggs Ice Cream, watching the construction project and waiting for the hot summer day when the place would finally open and my family and I could mosey on over for dessert. That day came recently when we walked to Marczyk's II, drawn as much by Friday burger night as the promise of neighborhood camaraderie. We found both there, with folks on picnic blankets and at tables laughing and making new friends over fat, juicy burgers. But that camaraderie came to an abrupt end when we walked across the street to finish our meal at Nuggs.

See also:
The ten best places for ice cream in Denver

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At $3.99 a cone, you don't want to order the wrong ice cream at Nuggs.
I asked for a taste, as did my kids. Having grown up at places like Sweet Action, they've learned not to shy away from strange names, which often translate to spectacular ice cream flavors -- but not always, hence the need for a taste. Some of them ordered what they tried on the little spoon. Others asked for a second taste -- in my case because the toasted coconut wasn't as toasty as I'd hoped it would be. At $3.99 a scoop, I didn't want to waste my money on a so-so flavor.

At premium ice cream parlors -- something that Nuggs is trying to be, given its high price point -- free tastes are the norm. But apparently the employee scooping our cones didn't think so. "What are you trying to do, fill up on tastes so you don't have to buy a cone?" he barked. I was so taken aback, I didn't know what to say.

I can't think of the number of times I've watched servers at Bonnie Brae patiently hand out tastes to entire soccer teams. And when I called Sweet Action to ask about their policy on tastes, I was told, "Try as many as you like!" What these companies know is that happy customers are repeat customers.

But it's hard to be happy when you've paid nearly $20 for two single cones and three kids' cones with scoops no larger than golf balls, and have been accused of freeloading. I felt like I had gotten mugged at Nuggs, and put in a call to find out the official sampling policy there. And it sounds like my server had gone rogue.

"I've had people try close to every flavor, with no limits" says Justin Norris, an assistant manager at Nuggs. "I'm really sorry about that; that's not acceptable. We try to instill the fact that it's all about the customer."




Location Info

Nuggs Ice Cream Parlor

5135 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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88 comments
J.L. Benet
J.L. Benet

People who respond with this dismissive phrase should have their internet taken away.

Ryan Bronson
Ryan Bronson

They're ridiculously generous with their scoop sizes. The single scoop is basically twice the size of the expectation.

Rob Payne
Rob Payne

Lesson here, give Westword what they want or be on blast.

Cory Metheney
Cory Metheney

Fuck those douchebags who think they're entitled to a free sample of everything. How about you go to elways steakhouse and see if you can get a steak to sample? The Mexicans are the worst the think they should get everything for free. You fucks are already living in this country for free, get government funding cause your Mexican bitches can't keep there damn legs closed. Mexicans need to get out of this country.

Andrace Lopez
Andrace Lopez

im with nuggs.. justfuckingpicksomethingalready!

Michael Horn
Michael Horn

Obviously Gretchen is one of those people that won't just get the fuck out of the way and make a decision so I can order my ice cream

Jeremy Bronson
Jeremy Bronson

Totally irresponsible. Please take down this post. Shame on you.

Danielle Cisneros
Danielle Cisneros

It's ice cream lol get it and go dude. You know which flavor is good? All of them cause ain't no one got time for all that !

Susanna Inanna Rhc
Susanna Inanna Rhc

Everyone has different experiences. It happens. It's part of owning a business. It's called reality and knowing there will be all kinds. Get over it. If I go somewhere expecting a service and get treated rudely or have a bad experience. I will not go back again. My choice. And yes I will share my experience with friends and family. That does not mean I will discourage anyone as it is their choice to do as they please.

Megan Munzert
Megan Munzert

You cant make money by handing out freebies all the time. Key word: all

Megan Munzert
Megan Munzert

So what...go somewhere else. Besides what is with everyone trying to freeload everywhere.

Justina Byron
Justina Byron

A friend of mine owns this shop. He is an extraordinarily kind and caring person. I have a hard time believing that comment about this being a hostile environment is the norm.

Kevin Boulas
Kevin Boulas

We were just there and the staff were very nice, and offered tastes... I hope this is just a case of you running into the one dick who needs to be fired...

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

I also have heard that Epic Plumbing and Heating has some pretty lousy employees as well!

Aaron The-Icon Spriggs
Aaron The-Icon Spriggs

I've been there three times, and all three times have been treated great by the staff, AND they have possibly the best chocolate shake in Denver (and I have I large sample size of shakes to compare).

Stephanie Marie
Stephanie Marie

This is awful. You're totally misleading in the title! Shame on you Westword! You want to catch eyes but you can't forget that you have the power to sway opinions and possibly even close down these little mom and pops!! I owned a business and it is awful how people will lie and give bad reviews and not care what it does to the business. Especially when it is just a worker bee there and not the owner or management. You called to complain and they APOLOGIZED and also said that ISN'T THEIR POLICY! So unless you went back and still were treated badly, they certainly don't deserve this bad press! Shame on all of you! It's because if shit like this that I hated owning my own business! People are so quick to go on with the negative, even if they got an apology and the company tried to make it right. Nope, the negative gets more attention. BULLSHIT!

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

You are basically saying that you are dumb, because if you are going to use my name I am going to call you on it!

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

and? I am sure your MileHi church is so happy to see that you show you are a member of theirs and that you display absolutely no sense of tolerance or respect. I think dumber is accurate since you seem to think that you are having a private conversation on a public thread! and why do you take offense to being called a female dog! LOL

Robert Kunce
Robert Kunce

And btw, you used "dumber" and "bitches". Get yourself in check. AND, my original post was a worthwhile contribution.

Robert Kunce
Robert Kunce

Well actually this was a private exchange between Josh and I. And remember, by calling you a name doesn't make it so !! In your own words.

Joann Taillon
Joann Taillon

I went to Nuggs on a very busy day and was asked if I'd like to sample anything. I had 3 samples with very good service. Sounds like someone is just being spiteful.

Jeff Hulsing
Jeff Hulsing

Josh, we get it. You're the company rep. Quit acting butthurt that a critic found both the customer service as well as the portions to be lacking. Instead of getting all defensive, you should just hand out free ice cream coupons to everybody for the next two weeks. You can put my name first on the list.

Jeff Hulsing
Jeff Hulsing

Josh nobody in their right mind would want to pay $4 for that pathetic ice cream town shown in the picture

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

And Robert, you are even dumber than Josh - just because someone says something doesn't make it so! Why are you guys such sensitive bitches with your panties in a bunch? This Josh is exactly what I mean by bullying - you attacked my opinion and now are trying to bully me with name calling - If you want to call people names Robert, you best be prepared to deal with the consequences of doing so! It is common to use foul language when you have nothing worthwhile to contribute

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

Josh you are a bit of a freak! A business is only as good as their employees!

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

Josh, Josh, Josh, here you are accusing someone else of not reading the article merely because they have an opinion which differs from yours! You keep spewing that this is not SOP of this company which leads me to ask you two questions: 1) Did you read the article? Because you keep making a reference to SOP and it is not evident as to what their SOP is aside from a back peddling statement made by the manager which came straight out of "business procedures for retail managers 101" rule book! 2) Do you work there or just very passionate about this ice cream?

Susi Kim
Susi Kim

I'd say to the readers to maybe stop acting like such entitled brats- and be nice to the awesome help behind the freezers. I've had nothing but great times there. NO NUGGS FOR YOU!

Cecily Leora
Cecily Leora

One ignorant employee can really mess up a business in many peoples' eyes... Hopefully he was fired! I would have left immediately after that remark.

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

LOL Josh, the more you speak the bigger asshat you prove yourself to be! You are obviously the one who is overly sensitive. WHy you have gotten butt hurt because I thought it was great how Nuggs was called out on the behavior of their employee! If expecting to be treated with respect at an establishment where I have chosen to spend money makes me a stuck up bitch, then I guess I am guilty! You are the one that erroneously came to the conclusion that I didn't read the article. How would I have known to make the suggestion of trying a better training technique if I had not read the managers comments? I also find it hilarious how you make up a statistic to back up your false allegations, also nowhere in the statement by the Nuggs manager does it say the employee had been fired - now who is jumping to conclusions?

Christine Alling
Christine Alling

I did read the artlcle. You're beeing foolishly assumptive. A business is only as good as the people who represent it. There are too many choices out there to go somewhere that doesn't have the proper customer service acumen. Why didn't the owner instill the importance of customer service in that employee?

Nicole Groody Mensch
Nicole Groody Mensch

Last time I was there the guy in front of us tried just about every flavor with no issue besides eye rolling from those of us stuck behind him. The employees were super friendly.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Read the article. They put the most important quote at the end. Seems to match what people are saying about their experiences. This blog is off base.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Or read the article and realize it was one employee and that's not SOP there...

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Bullying? Where? Check your oversensitivity. It didn't sound like you read the article to which you flew off the handle lol. Chill. You said "treat their customers like crap." which they do not. ONE employee. It's obvious that's not SOP there. You can train employees all you want but you can not control them. All you can do is fire them if they don't follow your guidelines for customer interaction. But to base your entire decision off of that and I'm an asshat for assuming what probably 90% of the other readers would also assume you must be one royally stuck up bitch (would explain your sensitivity). I hope you don't base your opinion on what I say but rather on actual customers' experiences over one drama-inducing blogger.

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

Colin, maybe they are good about tastings now because someone called their attention to the problem, and like I said in my first comment - maybe they took it as an opportunity to refine their training techniques! Josh just got all butt hurt because I have a tough time spending my money in establishments that are rude to the customer!

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

For those who only read headlines here's the asst. manager debunking the entire blog along with the comments here: "I've had people try close to every flavor, with no limits" says Justin Norris, an assistant manager at Nuggs. "I'm really sorry about that; that's not acceptable. We try to instill the fact that it's all about the customer."

Bekki Marsh
Bekki Marsh

I'm certainly not going to base my opinion on what you have to say - bullying is not a way to make a point

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Westword fix the title. It is misleading at best. One bad employee is the basis for this entire blog. Just stirring up crap for the sake of drama. Why not put the assistant manager's quote AT THE BEGINNING?

folsomj7
folsomj7

wow you racist fuck head lets start by saying your probably the worst person who has ever lived i would put you somewhere close to hitler and stalin. second i work at a high end ice cream shop and samples are part of the deal because people pay so much for their desert that they should be able to decide whether or not the like a flavor before they buy it. but lets go back to you being a piece of shit person. I hope you get raped get aids and die you fucking piece of shit burn in hell.

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