Two summers ago, spouses Chelsea Keene and Chris Olson converted a 1974 VW bus into an ice cream truck, serving ice cream sandwiches, scoops, and even the occasional hand pies, all vegan (and many sans gluten). Now the couple is turning a former yoga studio at 7415 Greenwood Ave N into a full-on, year-round haven of vegan sweets.
Seattle Cookie Counter uses coconut milk in its ice cream, producing sandwich combos like sugar cookies with lemon ice cream, chocolate chip cookies with coffee ice cream, and PB&J. Since launching the bus, Keene says she's surprised how many of their customers aren't actually vegan, which tells you something about her skills.
Keene and Olson had known for a while it was time for a shop, but couldn't decide where it should be. The space ended up finding them; MacKenzie DeVito, who owns the No Bones About It food truck (yep, also vegan), drove by its sunny yellow exterior one day and immediately texted Keene.
Four walls and more space mean more possibilities."We're really excited to scoop ice cream into a cone," says Keene. She's also planning a lineup of pies, sundaes, affogatos—"treats that can be easily topped with ice cream." Mornings will involve espresso and a housemade take on a Pop-Tart. Keene and Olson are planning to morph the name of their business slightly, and call their place simply The Cookie Counter.
While the shop will likely be ready around January, the couple will take advantage of the walkup window in front with some weekend popups. The full schedule is online (or listed out nicely on the PhinneyWood blog), but this Saturday's apple-themed popup sounds lovely. Keene and Olson just launched a Kickstarter for the shop; check it out for a potential menu and lots of come-hither ice cream photos.