Molly Moon Neitzel opened the first Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream shop in Wallingford in 2008. The ice cream served here is made in the back of the shop.
In the following years, Molly opened shops in Capitol Hill (which is next door to the company’s headquarters), Madrona, Queen Anne, U Village, 19th/Mercer, Redmond and Columbia City. Most of the shops only scoop ice cream made onsite. At the Redmond and Columbia City shops, open kitchens allow for ice cream eaters to see how the treat is made.
Molly’s real middle name is Moon and the shop’s logo is designed to look like Molly’s dog, Parker Posey, a French Bulldog and Boston Terrier mix. "Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream is a business that cares as much about serving our community as we do about serving the highest quality ice cream," says Neitzel. "We partner with local farmers and makers to source our ingredients, donate a percentage of every sale to nonprofits in our neighborhoods and create great jobs with amazing benefits unparalled in the food service industry."
The menu always offers 14 flavors. There are 10 regular flavors like Earl Grey, Melted Chocolate and Cookie Dough. The four seasonal flavors rotate and may include Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet or Caramel Cone Crunch.
Molly Moon’s sources local ingredients as often as possible. The shops use lavender from Purple Haze Lavender (a farm in Sequim, Washington) for the honey lavender flavor. The golden honey comes from the base of the Olympic Mountains
Yeti, a signature flavor, is made with sweet cream ice cream, homemade vanilla bean caramel, Yeti granola and Theo chocolate bits. Yeti granola is made in-house with pepitas, pepita butter, flax seeds, rolled oats, honey and salt.
Molly Moon’s has five core values: Be Smart. Be Generous. Be Homemade. Be Joyful. Be Brave.
Molly Moon’s is all about community. The shops donate ice cream and funds to local public schools and organizations that fight hunger. The company also founded The Anna Banana Milk Fund in honor of Molly’s younger sister. The organization gives fresh milk and other dairy products to food banks.
Frankie & Jo’s brings plant-based, vegan, gluten-free ice cream to Seattle. The shop was founded by Autumn Martin, a pastry chef who also founded Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, and Kari Brunson, who also owns plant-focused Juicebox Cafe.
“Frankie & Jo's has been a vision in the making for years,” says Martin. “I am allergic to dairy and as a pastry chef, have missed high-quality ice cream that doesn't taste like an alternative. We have created a magical ice cream made from plants that is blowing minds.”
The flagship Capitol Hill store opened in November 2016. All of the ice cream is made at this store, and the interior space was designed by Katie Hackworth. Frankie & Jo’s has a second location in Ballard.
“We make our own cashew milk every day and use vegetables, plant medicines and savory ingredients in our recipes, making some of the most unique and delicious ice cream I have ever had,” says Martin.
Harvey Strawberry Milk, a seasonal flavor, is made with coconut milk, coconut oil, cocoa butter, strawberries, cane sugar, salt, nutritional yeast, beet powder and chia seeds. Beet Strawberry Rose, an everyday sorbet flavor, is made with strawberries, fresh beet juice, fresh apple juice, fresh lime juice, cane sugar, sea salt and rose water.
“Many people with food allergies and strict dietary preferences now have their own ice cream shop, bringing back a tradition they have missed,” says Martin.
Salty Caramel Ash and Gingered Golden Milk are two of the most popular flavors. The signature homemade, gluten-free, maple-vanilla waffle cone is made with pure maple syrup, oat flour and brown sugar.
Frankie & Jo’s also offers two flavors made with date, rather than cane sugar. “We are revolutionary in what we are doing – making ice cream from plants that tastes better than its cow dairy counterpart, without any gums or stabilizers,” says Martin. “It feels incredible to be doing this work!”
Nostalgia is the name of the game at Shug’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Owners Colleen Wilkie and Paul Dormann opened the old-school sundaes, sodas and floats shop in May 2016.
“Our 1936 soda fountain is the starting point of everything that we make here,” says Wilkie. “It’s the whole experience. We use top-quality ice cream for old-school recipes from that era and add a modern flare.”
Shug’s gets its ice cream from Lopez Island Creamery, an ice cream distribution brand about an hour north of Seattle. Shug’s is the only spot in Seattle that offers a wide variety of Lopez Island Creamery flavors. “We just think that they make the best ice cream in the close vicinity,” says Wilkie.
Almost everything else is made in-house, from the syrups for the sodas to the sauces and toppings. The menu is extensive. For adults, there is a list of ice cream cocktails, as well as beer, wine and Champagne.
“You can be here for three or four hours if you want to,” says Dormann. “People come and set up shop in the back and chat. It’s really relaxed.”
The name Shug’s came from Wilkie’s mother’s childhood nickname. Shug’s is a place meant for families.
“We’re intentionally slowing people down,” says Wilkie. “We want people to understand it’s a whole process and experience, but we also have a walkup window for people to take cones, sodas and floats to go."
The Norma Jeane sundae includes a blondie bar, vanilla ice cream, caramel, whipped cream, dried pear, salt and bourbon mist. “Our goal was to make people really happy. We want to make ice cream fantasies come true,” says Dormann.
Salt & Straw, the Portland, Oregon-based ice cream shop with a cult following, opened two locations in Seattle in February. In addition to Capitol Hill and Ballard, Salt & Straw scoops in Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
The brand was founded by cousins Tyler and Kim Malek. Their ice cream flavors are known for creativity, innovation and cool collaborations.
Salt & Straw has classic flavors like Honey Lavender and Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache that can be found at most of the shops. There are also city-specific flavors that are designed especially for local ice cream eaters.
“Seattle is like the godfather of Pacific Northwest cooking and the partners with whom we had the opportunity to work really represent that,” says Tyler Malek. “One of the first people I got to meet and work with when we opened here was Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolates, I was immediately taken under her wing and taught about the great farms and flavors of this city.”
“When you add on partners like Tom Douglas, Beecher’s Cheese, Rachel’s Ginger Beer... these partnerships and collaborations are immense when collecting stories to tell in our ice cream,” says Malek. “Working with the greatest artisans in Seattle has molded our local menu into something super delicious and indicative of the city around us.”
The shops were designed by Portland, Oregon-based Andee Hess.
Ellenos Yogurt and Matcha is a Seattle flavor made by cooking down Ellenos yogurt with sugar, which turns it into a pudding. Then, it’s mixed with matcha, honey, salt and orange juice ice cream.
Rachel’s Raspberry Ginger Beer is a vegan sorbet created for the Seattle shops. The flavor uses ginger and raspberry syrup from Pike Place Market’s famous Rachel’s Ginger Beer and combines it with coconut cream.
In Ballard, Parfait Ice Cream was founded in 2009 by pastry chef Adria Shimada and grew from an ice cream truck to a brick-and-mortar shop.
“Parfait is a Washington State Department of Agriculture-licensed ice cream manufacturer, and all of our products are completely made from scratch on site,” says Shimada.
“We pasteurize our own ice cream base, we grow some of our own produce, we bake our own mix-ins and toppings, and we source directly from local farms and responsible producers,” says Shimada. “Truly farm-to-cone!”
“Ice cream isn't health food, but it doesn't have to be junk food,” says Shimada. “We offer Seattle a unique option for craft ice cream made from local, real food, without the gums, industrial stabilizers and lengthy ingredient lists found in the majority of commercial ice cream.”
Superb Strawberry is made from strawberries grown in Parfait’s garden and at Remlinger Farms. Other popular flavors include Mint Stracciatella, Coffee with Housemade Oreo and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. Parfait also offers dairy-free ice cream that is plant-based and vegan.
Parfait makes sure its ice cream is as natural as possible, and wants to preserve the earth by composting, too.
In addition to the Ballard ice cream shop, Parfait sells pints of ice cream at groceries and specialty markets throughout the Puget Sound. It is also launching a delivery program with options for regional and nationwide shipping.
“In French, parfait means perfect, and I work hard to ensure that my ice cream lives up to its name,” says Shimada.