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Capitol Hill food+drink | Sugar Plum a sweet new direction for eating vegan in Seattle


By the end of July, Makini Howell will have taken eating vegan in Seattle in yet another new direction: to the sweet shop.

“It will show that there is a lot to being vegan,” Howell said in a chat with CHS following her weekend of red, white, and blue vegan BBQ, an annual tradition at her 15th Ave E cafe that didn’t get put aside despite a busy schedule and construction to prepare for the opening of Sugar Plum planned for the end of the month. “It will be a sweet little sweet shop.” And, yup, it will be vegan.

CHS first told you about Howell’s plans to transform her 15th Ave E cafe into a vegan sweet shop last fall. She utilized community financing and her strong reputation to push a brand new concept forward and reinvent her part of the 15th Ave E food and drink scene.

“People like us. They know we offer a quality product. We’ve been vegan an in Seattle for so long,” Howell told CHS this week.

When it opens in, Howell said to expect “that old school feel of a candy shop” with gluten free, vegan, and dietarily sensitive wonders. “I want it to be an exciting spot to come have a treat. Imagine amazing, big chocolate chip cookies,” Howell told us last fall. You’ll find the aforementioned cookies, bars, brownies, donuts, sweets, soft-serve and more.

IMG_0141As she prepare to open, Howell said she also is looking to help 15th Ave capture some more of the energy that her Plum restaurant on 12th Ave has been part of in Pike/Pine. “The Pike/Pine corridor exploded,” she said. “It will be good to have more of that come up here.”

Howell said she has been approached with offers to “do more in Pike/Pine” but that she’s sensitive to diluting her creations that have won her all-star vegan status. “I don’t want to saturate the market,” she said.

But Howell did say she believes Sugar Plum will be a test case that shows that the market for vegan food and drink has matured and that concepts like a sweet shop will thrive. She also said there are clearly more new directions for her to take.

Sugar Plum is slated to open in two to three weeks at 324 15th Ave E. Check out for more information.

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8 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Sugar Plum a sweet new direction for eating vegan in Seattle

  1. I had some of the cake on the 4th. It was good. It will be nice to have some vegan desserts regularly on the hill.

  2. Violet Sweet Shoppe is also in Seattle and already has tons of amazing vegan desserts ready and waiting for those needing beautiful (and completely delicious) vegan cakes, cookies, pastries, brownies, candy, and all other sorts of yumminess… Very professionally decorated too!!
    (No, I have no connection with the place, but just wanted people to be aware they exist).

    • Thanks. I see that the shop is north of the cut– not on my beat but sorry to overlook. why the sudden small wave of comments about it this weekend?

  3. I imagine the “sudden small wave” (2 comments is a wave? But mine was deleted?) is people who learned how I did: a vegan shared the article on FB. Vegans want to support new businesses, but this… is kinda gross.

  4. There are so many exceptional vegan sweet shops in Seattle, it seems like lazy journalism to me to not do a little research and give a nod to Mighty-O, Violet Sweet Shoppe, Brown Sugar Baking Co, Seattle Cookie Counter & Flying Apron Bakery. The community of vegan shops deserves recognition, Sugar Plum isn’t a *new* thing for Seattle, they’re not filling a void. It’s disappointing to say the least that she’s decided to change from an ice cream shop after collecting donations for one.

  5. Am I the only one who finds it rather ludicrous (if not flat-out insulting to neighboring business owners) for Ms. Howell to imply that 15th will be infused with Pike/Pine type energy just because Sugar Plum is there? I for one could do without Pike/Pine douchery up here anyway, thank you very much.