Microshops. Solobakers. I have no good name for this, but there are way more people running their own bakeries and ice cream shops online now. And it is awesome.
I know this has always been a thing, but it has grown so much with email and Instagram. It’s no longer “you know someone who knows a person who bakes,” it’s an instagram account posting of their flavors of the day. And I am in for this. (In fact, this may end up becoming a running series. Depends on how often I can get orders in.)
Today I’m covering some of my favorites. Let me know below if you’ve tried them out!
Yippie Pie-Yay isn’t new. At all. Courtney Rhoades has been running around Seattle with pies for years, I’d just never caught her in person. Until now.
I picked up six hand pies ($20), the smallest amount I felt I could sanely eat. It’s $10 to deliver to my area, but I was able to meet her Queen Anne for free pickup. Which gave me a fantastic excuse to go to Chocolopolis. (And then I promptly got distracted by being at Chocolopolis. Of course.)
The pies were ridiculously cute, and had nice crispy crusts. I felt the strawberry rhubarb pies had good flavor, but were slightly underfilled. (I need my rhubarb fix!) But. BUT. The blackberry hand pies were so perfect as to be painful in their Instagram-photogenic cuteness. We’re talking perfectly browned crusts kissed with sugar, plump berries, and just the right amount of oozy filling. I went to photograph one for Snapchat and took a bite before my brain even registered that I was eating Chris’s pie. I regret nothing. May all my pie experiences be that sweet.
Sweet Lo’s Ice Cream
Sweet Lo’s is run by Lauren Wilson, who only sells quart sizes or smaller of ice cream, with $5 delivery. At $16/quart, it may feel like it’s pricey, and then you remember it’s by the quart. And then you remember how big a quart is. And you squeak. And start scrambling to get enough freezer space.
Also: Lauren is totally up for experimenting with flavors. You want lemon curd and rhubarb crumble? It can probably happen. Popcorn? Why not! (Buttered popcorn is a thing she’s apparently skilled at making into ice cream.) She’s got a looooong list of regular flavors, and often will fold baked goods, from cookies to lemon bars, into her creations.
On to the ice cream. I picked up black sesame and rocky road, and I need an excuse to order more. The black sesame is good – not super roasty like Sweet Alchemy, but clean and bright. Rocky road was so studded with marshmallows as to be polka-dotted. I’m also super impressed with the dark chocolate base, the kind of thing you hope you can create in your own kitchen but know how many egg yolks it’ll require. And best of all, after well over a week in the freezer, there were very few ice crystals, so I could snack long enough to actually finish it all off. (Artisan ice creams can get freezer burn like nobody’s business. Sweet Lo’s can apparently handle even my horrible freezer. Rock on!)
Are all microshops going to be good? So far, they’re looking pretty epic. And it’s neat to see these happening and watch them grow. After all, ice cream and pie delivery creates a better world for everyone.