It’s the end of an era for one major vegan sweets shop. The Cookie Counter — which rose from a charming VW van in 2014 to its current Phinney Ridge home — announced on Facebook it will close February 29. Along with ice cream shop Frankie & Jo’s, the Cookie Counter has been among the most prominent names in the sugary vegan game around Seattle, serving up popular treats, such as its signature ice cream sandwiches, coconut milk-based sundaes, and even soft serve in rotating flavors like chai and lavender.
It’s certainly been a roller coaster ride, though. After steadily building a following with its mobile operation six years ago, the Cookie Counter crowdfunded its permanent location, but had to close it in 2016, citing financial straits. At the time, owners Chelsea Keene and Chris Olson blamed unscrupulous contractors, while a car crash that injured Olson also slowed things down. After raising nearly $10,000 via Gofundme, the Cookie Counter rose again in 2017 with a splashy new look.
However, challenges arose again last year. Keene and Olson tried to open up a Capitol Hill outpost in the Gay City space on E Pike Street, but a dispute with fellow tenant Kaladi Brothers Coffee nixed that effort, and the location closed after just a few weeks. Now that the Phinney Ridge location is winding down, the owners say they are ready to start the “next chapter” in their lives.