It's clear Seattle Cookie Counter has struck a nerve in Seattle, where the vegan dessert company has successfully completed not one but two Kickstarter campaigns in its short history. The first launched the mobile business in the sweetest vintage VW bus in 2014, while the second secured a Phinney Ridge storefront, which finally opened early this month and, for now at least, has superseded the truck.
From ice creams to cookies to toppings to syrups, founders Chelsea Keene and Chris Olson make almost everything from scratch, something of a necessity for a producer that eschews animal products — many, but not all, items are gluten-free, as well. They make their ice cream from a combination of coconut milk, coconut cream, and evaporated cane juice — all organic, chosen after taste-testing because Chris says it makes a huge difference. Most pronounced in the vanilla ice cream, the coconut flavor recedes to the background in other varieties.
In the photos above, watch as Keene scoops the shop's most popular sundae, Call the Dentist, made with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, peanut butter magic shell, Chick-O-Stick (an old school candy; think of the inside of a Butterfinger bar), whipped (coconut) cream, and a maraschino cherry on top. See her float a scoop of vanilla ice cream in seltzer doctored with house strawberry syrup, then show off mint chip ice cream sandwiched between a chocolate chip cookie and a plum shortbread cookie (the team says this mixing and matching is encouraged, but almost no one takes advantage of the option).
Keene and Olson say they're humbled by the response they've gotten, and they're having trouble keeping up with demand right now. Be sure to stop in Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. for "Milk and Cookies Happy Hour," when two cookies and an 8-ounce milk cost $3. Olson says it's exactly what he wishes were offered when he was a kid on his way home from school. Also keep an eye out for warm treats like pie with coffee this winter. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or none of the above, you'll find plenty to love at this conscientious ice cream parlor as long as you dig dessert.