Four Scoops of Portland Ice Cream News

New locations for Kate’s Ice Cream and Tipsy Scoop, plus what’s up with Fifty Licks and Salt & Straw.

Tipsy Scoop Cake Batter Vodka Martini ice cream (Tipsy Scoop)

The local ice cream industry is gearing up for summertime, based on the glut of news coming out of local scoop shops this week. A roundup is in order. The big moves: Kate’s Ice Cream is opening a second location, Tipsy Scoop is swooping in to serve those who can’t decide between dessert and booze. Plus, a couple sprinkles at the bottom about Salt & Straw’s new flavor, and a path toward recovery for Fifty Licks. Bon appétit!

Kate’s Ice Cream, the plant-based, gluten-free ice cream shop on North Mississippi Avenue is expanding to a second location June 7 in the former Westward Whiskey space at 1430 NW 23rd Ave.

Founder Kate Williams is from south Louisiana, by way of Boston. She launched Kate’s Ice Cream in 2019 at the Portland State University Farmers Market shortly after moving here and seeing the gap in the ice cream market for a “great, plant-based, gluten-free ice cream brand.” (Eb & Bean, Cloud City and many other scoop shops in town provide vegan offerings but are not exclusively plant-based and gluten-free.)

“It’s such a vegan-friendly city, so I knew that if I don’t do this someone else will,” she says. “I truly felt called to do it.”

Williams grew up an ice cream lover in south Louisiana and started making it after college for fun. At that time, her youngest sister was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that prevented her from eating dairy, so she started tweaking recipes for her. All of Kate’s Ice Creams are coconut milk-based.

It is Williams’ mission, she says, to provide a classic ice cream shop experience for folks formerly cut off from that world due to dietary restrictions. She especially loves serving fresh waffle cones to children who have never had one before.

Also, this summer, Portland will get the first location of Tipsy Scoop east of the Mississippi, a few months later than originally promised, but we’ll take it. The New York-based chain of barlours (get it?) is expanding its boozy ice cream empire to 3987 N Mississippi Ave. Tipsy Scoop’s signature favorites include Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel, Cake Batter Vodka Martini and Mango Margarita Sorbet.

Portland’s exclusive ice cream flavor will be made with Wild Roots Marionberry Vodka and swirled with black raspberry.

The first 25 guests (21 and over, of course) will get $1 scoops at the grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 2 pm.

Salt & Straw celebrated its 13th birthday yesterday with a 6-by-2.5-foot ice cream cake made with rainbow-flecked yellow cake, vanilla ice cream, ribbons of Oregon blackberry jam, and a cream cheese frosting. For those who missed the birthday party at their Northwest 23rd Avenue shop, a more modest version that serves 20 is now available online and in stores for $79.

Finally, Fifty Licks has started a GoFundMe campaign to support its staff in the aftermath of a May 10 fire that destroyed its flagship East Burnside ice cream shop. The fire, which broke out in the basement of the building, also hit Wyld Stallyns Vintage and Cream Salon. On social media, Fifty Licks owner Chad Draizin encouraged customers to visit the Southeast Clinton Street and Northwest 21st Avenue locations or book the company’s vintage ice cream truck to cater an event.

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