This week I looked at three different ice cream sandwich options in town, all from businesses that specialize in small-batch, homemade ice cream. Sampling sandwiches from Parfait, Sweet Bumpas, and Sweet Lo's, I was struck not only by the diversity of sandwich styles (Parfait is très French, with macarons and flavors like lavender-and-honey, while Sweet Lo's goes for big, gooey-centered cookies and in-your-face flavors like peanut butter explosion with Reese's Pieces), but also the various business models each one uses. Of the three, only Parfait has a retail shop, but owner Adria Shimada opened it after four years of doing business in a roving ice cream truck.
We have so many ice cream options in Seattle, but I wanted to focus on a few of the smaller, artisan, truly homemade ice cream makers we have. However, I also want The Stranger's food coverage to be as inclusive as possible, so I was happy to hear from a couple of people wondering why I didn't include any vegan options, as well as pointing me toward Seattle Cookie Counter.
The Cookie Counter, which owners Chelsea Keene and Chris Olson run out of an almost painfully adorable blue Volkswagen bus, has been serving vegan ice cream sandwiches since last summer. Both their cookies and ice cream, which is homemade and coconut-based, are 100 percent vegan, all the ice cream is gluten-free, and they always have at least one gluten-free cookie option. As is requisite for all Seattle food businesses, ingredients rotate seasonally, but right now sandwich flavors include snicker-doodle-and-chocolate, chocolate-chip-mint, chocolate-orange, and chocolate-lavender.
The bus roams around Seattle, parking at various locations throughout the week. You can check their full schedule here. Today they'll be parked on 15th Avenue on Capitol Hill, in front of the fire station that used to be On 15th Video.
In other vegan ice cream news, Makini Howell, who has been serving her beloved, decadent vegan food at her Plum restaurants and burger truck for years, has quietly opened the long-awaited Sugar Plum, Seattle's first all-vegan ice creamery, in the space that used to be her quick-service Plum Cafe. Howell's vision is an old-school ice-cream-and-candy shop vibe with soft-serve, cakes, cookies, brownies, floats, and, yes, ice cream sandwiches.
Sugar Plum is currently open Wednesday through Sunday, but will officially open with a soft launch party on Sunday, September 13 from 2 to 6 p.m.