Next month (if all goes right), you’ll finally be able to get yourself a gluten-free, maple-sweetened waffle cone filled with fresh juice sorbet and plant-based ice cream. Frankie & Jo’s is, quite simply, not your average creamery.
The Capitol Hill scoop shop is the passion project of Autumn Martin (she of Hot Cakes fame) and Kari Brunson (local juice goddess at Juicebox)—perhaps the only two people in town I would trust when it comes to vegan, gluten-free ice cream. Years ago, Martin developed a dairy allergy, so she’s blazing this trail out of necessity. Brunson knows her way around a bag of produce. The two have come up with seven flavors (more will be added when the shop opens) that are ready to be shipped nationwide.
Sure, there’s vanilla (made of sprouted cashew milk and sweetened with brown sugar) and chocolate (consisting only of coconut milk, dates, cocoa powder, and sea salt). And they’re delicious: surprising in their creaminess and nuanced flavors. But the real treat here is that Marin and Brunson are pushing the envelope with not just process of making ice cream but the flavors you’d expect to find in a cone or pint. Gingered Golden Milk is a vibrant yellow, colored with turmeric and tasting of both fresh and candied ginger. California Cabin tastes exactly as the name implies—all pine and smoke. My personal favorite is the Salty Caramel Ash, black from the addition of activated charcoal and just the right balance of salty and sweet.
When it opens, you’ll find Frankie & Jo’s: Capitol Hill, 1010 E. Union St.; frankieandjos.com.