Hey, Ballard: Frankie and Jo's Is Bringing Plant-Based Ice Cream Your Way
Its vibrant scoops inspire Instagram photos of ice cream cones upheld like Lady Liberty's torch lighting the path to dairy-free freedom. A stroll past this vegan ice creamery on Union Street earns you wafts of just-pressed, gluten-free maple vanilla waffle cones. The tropical scoop shop is, more often than not, brimming with people waiting for a taste of something with activated charcoal in it or the latest limited release sorbet of peak-season produce.
Yes, Frankie and Jo's is the frozen treat spot for both the dairy-averse and non alike. And lucky for those who dread trekking to Capitol Hill for a cone full of salty caramel ash or chocolate date, owners Autumn Martin (of the decadent dessert temple Hot Cakes) and Kari Brunson (vegetable whisperer at her Juicebox Cafe) are landing on the other side of the city in Ballard. The second Frankie and Jo's will call Northwest 70th Street home, like neighbors Rosellini's, Delancey, and the Pantry. Indeed Martin and Brunson first met at the Pantry in 2014, so it's fitting their new ice creamery will set up shop on the same block.
The coming location will be much like the first: natural light (natch), same beloved flavors, and plenty of greenery—a hallway will lead to a secret cactus garden, a Volunteer Park Conservatory–esque indoor/outdoor patio of sorts where folks can hang out amongst the plants and eat their plant-based ice cream. "We like to say it's always sunny in Frankie and Jo’s," jokes Brunson, and with bright scoops of gingered golden milk and a lush-oasis-slash-patio, that's certainly the case. As always, three more "aggressively seasonal" flavors will continue to grace the menu on a monthly basis.
But will there be stanchions? Not long after Frankie and Jo's opened last November on Capitol Hill, it drew lines down the sidewalk, and still does many days a week, begetting a pink velvet stanchion—"I may have never even uttered the word stanchion before 2017," says Brunson. Now it's pretty common parlance for the co-owner, who says the Ballard location will have a pint cooler twice as big as the current one. So, you can skip the queue and grab your favorites to go.
Expansion was a part of the plan from the beginning, but after the kitchen was really put to the test this summer, churning out batch upon batch of ice cream, the duo knew now was the time to branch out into another neighborhood. Stay tuned for an opening in early 2018.