Metro-East News

Temporarily closed ice cream shop gets a new neighbor

Scoops Ice Cream Shop opened in late July 2017 on West Main Street in Belleville.
Scoops Ice Cream Shop opened in late July 2017 on West Main Street in Belleville. canthony@bnd.com

A political consulting firm working for J.B. Pritzker’s gubernatorial campaign has moved next to the west Belleville ice cream shop that has temporarily closed for construction.

Scoops Ice Cream Shop, located at 8205 W. Main St., posted a "closed through construction" sign on the front door late last year. The owners declined to comment further about the temporary closure.

Since then, the political consulting firm Progressive Organizing Solutions has setup an office next door, which the owner of Scoops has leased in the past. One sign on the door at Scoops says "sorry, no ice cream!" Another sign tells job seekers to go next door for interviews.

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A "closed through construction" sign was placed on the door at Scoops Ice Cream Shop late last year. Cara Anthony canthony@bnd.com

The adjoining spaces are separated by an inside door. Workers have been seen on both sides of the space.

Progressive Organizing Solutions offers $90 a day in pay, according to a sign on the door.

The contact for the company had an email address from Terra Strategies, which was paid $69,833.07 by J.B. Pritzker’s gubernatorial campaign for "strategic field consulting" on July 6 of last year, according to State Board of Elections records.

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An exterior look at Scoops Ice Cream Shop in west Belleville. Cara Anthony canthony@bnd.com

Pritzker’s campaign confirmed it was using Terra Strategies for paid canvassing in order to help increase turnout ahead of the March 20 primary election.

This isn't the only political campaign to set up shop near or in a closed local food establishment.

The congressional campaign for St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly is leasing out the former St. Louis Bread Company location in downtown Belleville for its campaign headquarters. Kelly's campaign also is using the space to promote campaigns for other St. Clair County Democrats.

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