As soon as the sun came out, the DMs started to trickle in, says Pastry Project co-founder Emily Kim. Headed into its third summer, the Pastry Project’s Pioneer Square soft serve window has cemented its status as a cult favorite, and loyal customers were anxious to know when it would be back this year. The wait will be over on June 30, and the window will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 3 to 8 p.m. through August 27.
They don’t want to mess with a good thing, says Kim, so the menu will be the same as in previous years: two soft serve flavors, chocolate milk and purple vanilla, a hard shell dip that comes in butterscotch, chocolate, and strawberry passionfruit flavors, and an array of cheffy toppings like hot malted fudge and fresh-baked coconut cake crumbed and toasted in the oven with butter. The Pastry Project will also sell slabs of a double-chocolate chocolate chip birthday cake with malted vanilla frosting and soft serve wedged between the layers, and the beloved sandcastle ice cream sandwiches will also make a triumphant return. Like last year, free mini sammys will go to the first 100 customers on June 30.
Kim and co-founder Heather Hodge decided to slightly abbreviate soft serve season this year, thanks to Seattle’s fickle weather. The Pastry Project’s location in Pioneer Square is “slightly destination-y” and doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, says Kim, so when the weather is bad, it’s crickets. The singularly seasonal nature of ice cream sales was something Hodge and Kim learned about while working together at Molly Moon’s, but it took the ghastly cosmic joke that was last June to really drive it home.
The Pastry Project gets its name from its pro bono pastry chef training program and it offers recipe subscription boxes as well as a frozen cookie dough line. But the soft serve window is, by far, the Pastry Project’s most popular program. “People say to us all the time, ‘Your soft serve — it’s the best soft serve I’ve ever had’,” says Kim.
They’ve also got several pop-ups in the works for the coming months. An event with fancy cake purveyors Lady Grey is on the books for August 4, and a concha collab with pop-up panadería Bakescepade is scheduled for August 12 (dates subject to change). A date for a taiyaki pop-up with buzzy Portage Bay bakery Saint Bread is still TBD, and Kim says there’s the possibility of some hot dog nights on the horizon.