As the weather heats up, ice cream shops from across the Seattle are preparing to kick off the summer season with a selection of sweet treats at the Seattle Ice Cream Festival. The 12 participating ice cream makers will arrive armed with unique flavors and natural ingredients for the first annual festival.
The festival will take place at Chophouse Row in Capitol Hill from 12 to 5 p.m. on May 22. Admission is free and so are all the samples, with the option to purchase your favorite flavor. But choose wisely, there will be tons of flavors and vendors to pick from. The participating ice cream makers include: Sweet Bumpas, Molly Moon’s, Bluebird, Cupcake Royale, Gelatiamo, Balleywood Creamery, Kurt Farm Shop, Full Tilt, Parfait, Half Pint, Trove and Pink’s. The ice cream shops all have different specialties that range from ice cream macarons to spicy chipotle peanut brittle ice cream. Each shop brings a different strength to the table.
Anthony Tran, the co-owner of Pink’s Ice Cream, prides his business on its unique Asian-inspired flavors.
“I think our flavors are very unique because there’s not a lot of ice cream companies out there that do what we do—they don’t have the same flavors that we do,” Tran said.
Tran, whose business is expanding this summer, says Pink’s Ice Cream will bring some of their best flavors to the event, which include: durian, mango, a non-dairy coconut, green tea, Thai tea, lychee, and Vietnamese coffee. Their most popular flavor, durian, is made with only premium ingredients and real fruit. Pink’s will also combine their ice cream with the local macaron bakery, Macadons, to bring ice cream macarons to the event.
Matt Bumpas, the owner of Sweet Bumpas, is preparing for Sunday’s event, but is also gearing up for Seattle University’s Quadstock on Saturday. Bumpas uses fresh herbs and dried spices to flavor his bold ice cream. His personal favorite is chipotle peanut brittle.
“People really like our ice cream because we make everything. A lot of ice cream companies [are not] making the whole product themselves, they buy a base from a dairy [farm], but we make it all ourselves and we think that folks taste the difference,” Bumpas said.
Sweet Bumpas plans to stock their spot at the festival with chocolate malt, chipotle peanut brittle, fresh mint and dark chocolate crumble, coconut lime, rhubarb pineapple, and their most popular flavor, ‘monkey butt’—a banana ice cream with homemade peanut butter candy bar crunch. This will be the business’ second summer; Sweet Bumpas sells at markets around Seattle including the Capitol Hill Farmer’s Market and the Fremont Sunday Market.
As Sweet Bumpas begins its second summer, Bluebird Ice Cream celebrates its seventh. The shop’s local branch is located on Pike street, a block from the festival. According to Josh Reynolds, Bluebird’s founder, the shop plans to bring some fun seasonal flavors to kick off the summer season—although he’s unsure of the exact flavors. One thing Reynolds is sure of, however, is his ice cream’s quality.
“If you try a sample of it, you’re going to buy the full scoop,” Reynolds said.
Bluebird sources locally and collaborates with other local businesses like Theo Chocolate for ingredients. The shop is planning on including dairy-free options at the festival.
The vibrant flavors from Pink’s, Sweet Bumpas and Bluebird will be joined by creative parfaits from Trove, rich tastes from Gelatiamo and the classic comfort of Molly Moon’s, among others. As ice cream business owners prepare for a big turnout, they also look forward to the experience of the festival.
Reynolds explained that he is excited for the festival and the fun collaboration that happens when peers from the ice cream business come together. Bumpas is looking forward to more people trying his product and the joy that comes from selling ice cream.
“I went into this business because I like to see people really happy and I get to see them really happy,” Bumpas said.
Tess may be reached at [email protected]