Frankie and Jo’s, Capitol Hill’s first plant-based ice cream shop, opens Friday

Ice cream “churned” from plants. What will they think of next! The wonders never cease in Capitol Hill food and drink. Frankie and Jo’s, the plant-based ice cream shop from the Juicebox’s Kari Brunson and Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes, has announced Friday will be its official opening day.

The “most decadent dairy-free ice cream on the market” might be a good call after a Thanksgiving day of indulgence. 

CHS broke the news in March on the plans for the Capitol Hill home for the highly anticipated project from Brunson and Martin in a space ice cream sandwiched between Soi and Rene Erickson’s battery of projects General Porpoise, Bar Mesuline, and Bateau in E Union’s massive Broadstone Infinity development. The project is so large, you’ll also need to make room in your belly for waffles — Sweet Iron opened around the corner earlier this month.

Frankie and Jo’s is part of two ice cream debuts planned for E Union. The Central District Ice Cream Company is hoping to open soon near 22nd and Union in the Central District. Darren McGill, the guy behind Nate’s Wings and Waffles and the Happy Grillmore food truck, says his shop will also sell candy by the pound and will feature an array of flavors to rival some of the crazy creations you’ll find at his waffle restaurants. The planned starting lineup has been posted — no chicken and waffle ice cream… yet.

Frankie and Jo’s opening roster, meanwhile, sounds equally yum:

Frankie’s Brown Sugar Vanilla, Chocolate Date (sweetened only with dates!), California Cabin (a smoked vanilla and pine ice cream with gluten-free cardamon-black pepper shortbread), Cocoa Nib Mint Brownie, Gingered Golden Milk, Concord-Grape Shrub Sorbet, Beet Strawberry Rose Sorbet, Pumpkin Butter with Cornbread and Spiced Pecans, and Salty Caramel Ash.

The project creates its non-dairy ice creams the old fashioned way — a lot of work:

Each day, they make nut milk out of sprouted nuts and churn that milk into ice cream after infusing it with one of their many unique flavors. Most of their ice creams contain a combination of their silky house-made nut milk and rich coconut milk, but some are also free of nuts and just contain organic juices, fruit purees, and compotes.

The rest of the ice cream experience is also preference sensitive with your choice of compostable cups or gluten-free vanilla maple waffle cones and a promise that the shop “is 100 % vegan, gluten-free.”

UPDATE: Oops. Left out the prices — Mini $4, Standard $6, Large $8, Waffle Cones $2, Toppings $2, Pints $14

Frankie and Jo’s will be open Sunday through Thursdays 2 PM to 10 PM and 2 PM to 11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. You can learn more and also purchase the ice cream online at frankieandjos.com.

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28 thoughts on “Frankie and Jo’s, Capitol Hill’s first plant-based ice cream shop, opens Friday

  1. At $14 per pint (according to its website) this may qualify for the most expensive ice cream ever. The relentless upscaling of everything in Seattle rolls on . . . .

    • right, since prime Capitol Hill real estate and what are apparently all house-made and extremely niche, specialty ingredients are gonna result in a $4 pint.

    • The $14 is for orders online. They say they’ll deliver anywhere in the US, but UPS won’t cut it. They need special containers to keep it from melting. That could get costly.

  2. But regular ice cream is made from milk, which cows make from plants. So isn’t Chocolate Cherry Garcia® “plant based,” too?

  3. I don’t care what the ingredients are or how tasty the ice cream is……those prices are insane! No way is this business going to succeed.

    • i would disagree. people have been willing to pay $8+ for juice and $9 for pints of molly moon’s ice cream; those businesses are succeeding.

      $5 more for a pint of vegan ice cream? i think there are people who’ll pay that. just look to the $5 doughnut place next door that’s still in business as an example of success.

      while it may not be your thing, there are those who consider food a very important piece of their lives and are willing to pay more for it.

  4. To each his own. I guess “the proof of the [ice cream] is in the eating”. We’ll see soon enough if there are enough vegans and/or lactose-intolerant people who are willing and even ABLE to pay this, to keep them in business. All I can say is– if I were either, I’d probably have to find something else to eat for dessert.

    • @neighbor

      $9 a pint!!!! (at molly moon’s and they are still in business.)

      you can be shocked all you want but shit be expensive. nothing is as cheap as it used to be and that’s not even considering that some things you buy aren’t cheap to make.

      as @jim wrote, “to each his own.” if people think $14 is too expensive, then frankie and jo’s will need to adjust pricing or shut down. but i’m willing to wager that there are enough people with disposable incomes that, if the ice cream is tasty enough, will ensure this shop does okay.

    • “….i’m willing to wager that there are enough people with disposable incomes that…”

      Famous last words of many closed establishments.

    • OK, zeebleoop, but in 6-12 months (after the place has closed), I’m going to have to comment to say “I told you so!” (ha, ha)

  5. At least Molly’s ice cream is real, made from cream. Seriously this niche product is strange. Near me on 15th is a bakery that is all gluten free I believe. A pox on them. Their predecessor was a real bakery. All the little snowflakes that claim an inability to eat regular foods are few in actual number but believe they are legion, along with their allergic children. End days are near

    • I agree completely, and I miss the excellent bakery that was there before.

      Places like these are banking on the modern reality that “gluten-sensitivity,” “lactose intolerant,” etc have become somewhat faddish. Yes, there are some people who truly have these medical conditions, but there are many more who self-diagnose based on nonspecific symptoms which can be caused by a wide variety of things. And after they diagnose themselves, some of them label their children with the same condition!

    • “A pox on them”?? Seriously? My wife and daughter both have been diagnosed by real doctors with celiac disease, which is an actual disease with real serious effects of you eat any food containing gluten. We love Nuflours bakery.

  6. Wow! A lot of anti-vegan and anti gluten-free rhetoric here! I am hopeful that this “niche” business is a success, since there is literally nothing like it for miles (Sugar Plum on 15th to some degree). I have been a vegan since 1997 and my diet is not a fad, it is a way of life for me and many others in and around Seattle. I am so looking forward to visiting this place tomorrow!

  7. I hope they make it; but, there is no way I’m going to eat gorgonzola cheese in ice cream. Is the cheese they add plant based, too?

    • The gorgonzola is from Central District Ice cream. I don’t think there’s a vegan version, though I supposed you could try a natto, which at least in aroma has been compared to stinky cheese. I like natto, don’t care for blue cheeses, don’t think I’d like either in ice cream….