Salt & Straw started in Portland, OR with a single push cart, but it's become a growing scoop shop empire. The goal, make a positive impact on the community and showcase inventive ice cream.
After opening shops up and down the west coast, co-owners Kim and Tyler Malek are finally bringing their 'farm to cone' creations to Seattle with two new locations, in Ballard and Capitol Hill.
It's a homecoming for Tyler, who grew up in the Snohomish area.
"There's so much history and so much wonder here for me that its been a huge honor for me, honestly," he said.
Tyler is Salt & Straw's head churn-master. The person tasked with creating the inventive flavor combinations found on the menu.
One of his favorites is Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons. The Caramel is hand burned in the Salt & Straw kitchen giving it serious depth of flavor and just the right amount of bitterness.
In fact, everything in Salt & Straw's ice cream is made my hand. The almond brittle in the Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache is grandma's original recipe.
She's a discerning critic, but I'm told the brittle is definitely up to her standards.
Tyler is constantly tweaking recipes. That means he eats about two pints of ice cream a day. The one flavor he's eating for personal enjoyment is available on the Seattle menu, Rachel's Raspberry Ginger Beer.
It also happens to be vegan.Salt & Straw's classic menu is available year round, but there's also a special menu that changes every four weeks.
For Tyler, it's a chance to play storyteller, drawing inspiration from some of Seattle's top culinary creators.
"You know the food scene here is insane. Working with some of the different coffee roasters and brewers, being able to tap into their secrets and learn from them, it allows my menu to be so much different than if I was in this bubble by myself," he said.
All the flavors I sampled are phenomenal straight from the spoon, but they're best enjoyed in a fresh made waffle cone. Like everything at Salt & Straw, it's made with care and a whole lot of love.