7/24/2016

Big news (for everyone).

Yum

Extra, extra: ice cream is vegan now.

I have some really exciting news.

I’m going to make vegan ice cream.


But before I tell you about that, let me tell you how I got here.



I really love cooking. Like, a lot. (Can you tell?) So much so that when I decided to go vegetarian a little more than seven years ago, my love for cooking kind of took on an entirely new meaning. Not only was I doing something that I enjoyed, but I was learning how to reconnect with food. I was rediscovering the delicious variety out there and and re-appreciating the healing power of plants. Suddenly I was participating in a revival of food and community that was reemerging in kitchens across the country. Real food mattered again. What we put on our plates was important, was a thing worth thinking about beyond the present moment. And it was really, really good.

I’m going to say I got pretty good at this, because a girl should be proud of how far she’s come, right? I started my own food blog (welcome!). I made space for real meals. I learned how to marvel at simple beauty. Can you blame me?

And because this love of mine was so immediate and unparalleled, a big part of me tried to force it into a box labeled “calling” or “career.” But I don’t really like either of those words. I didn’t then, either. The first one feels funny because I think calling is something that should be bigger than your means to a paycheck. And I also think it’s something that morphs and changes over time. If we’re always growing, shouldn’t our purpose grow with us? And career: blech. Not only is that term becoming more and more obsolete to my generation, it’s never something I imagined for myself. I couldn’t wear a blazer or sit in a cubicle if you paid me a million dollars a minute. (I know that career can mean more than that, but trust me, that’s what you were thinking, too.)



But I didn’t know how to turn my love of food into a career even if I wanted one. I didn’t really want to go to culinary school. Not because I didn’t think I had anything left to learn, but because I was already having too much fun. (I also had a high aversion to learning how to cook certain things, but that’s a given). I was (and still am) learning so much from cookbooks and YouTube videos and other great blogs. I couldn’t see myself in the stressful, high-pressure, long-hourness of the restaurant world. I didn’t want to live in New York or Paris (weeeell) where all the best restaurants thrive.

I also didn’t want to dampen my affection for the kitchen by trying to transform this passion into something I relied on for money. And what’s hidden in that statement, I know now, is fear: I was afraid. Afraid to lose something about myself that I really, really liked. Afraid that the need to pay rent would obliterate my fascination with the perfect grill mark or the beauty of a vegan scone right out of the oven. And instead of immediately admitting to my realization, I took this fear and I reformed it as inevitable truth. Surely there was no other possibility than everything falling apart, right? Right. It wasn’t meant to be my whole world. Just a tiny piece of it, one that I kept closed off just for myself.

So I just kept cooking. I just kept loving it. I kept working for a company I admired and believed in. I baked a bunch of treats and distributed them to friends and coworkers. I tried new foods and attempted to decipher ingredients at favorite restaurants. I picked fresh strawberries and turned them into jam. Every now and then I would have a nagging thought that I was ignoring something bigger, that I was letting an important question about myself go unanswered. I usually responded to that question by baking four dozen cookies, tamping down my urge to find the answer with flour and sugar and cinnamon.



It turns out, if you don’t go looking for the answer, eventually the answer finds you. I completely believe this as every large life phase/change I’ve entered so far, good or bad, has started in this way. In a screeching halt, sit up in the middle of the night, of-course-that’s-it kind of way. And I won’t delve into every small fragment that led up this whole picture moment, but it felt so undoubtedly correct that it immediately erased my fear (which shows up for an encore later, but, it’s cool, we’ll figure it out):

I was going to make vegan ice cream. Wait, no, no: I was going to have a vegan ice cream truck (er, Vespa). I was going to make vegan ice cream so good that everyone would want it. I was going to respond to the lactose intolerant or the dairy averse and say I GOT YOU, GIRL but I was also going to convince the carnivores and the whole dairy drinkers of the magic of coconut milk, a little sugar and a lot of love.



There are some snags that currently leave me truck-less and while I work on un-snagging that part of the situation I am also exploring other options like scooters or bikes or trikes (Vespas with a side of Vespa) or all of the above. So it might be a vegan ice cream something for a little while, but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be a something.

This is a huge thing! Even two or three years ago, I was nowhere near this moment. I was in my tiny kitchen in New Jersey, burying my love of food under a pile of ramp pesto and lemon zest. And the thing about burying is that it works, at least for a little while. But when I let myself stop ignoring the unknown and just started waiting, started listening, started looking out into the universe and saying, Well? Okay. I’ll be open to it, something happened. And I don’t think good ideas are bestowed upon us and we then have the cool and uncomplicated opportunity to make them into something real. Maybe it happens that way sometimes and maybe my earlier description of my personal epiphany moment makes it seems like that’s what happened to me. But I believe it was much bigger than that. And that belief helps me all the time, especially when I feel like I’m being blocked or I’ve uncovered yet another new legislative problem or when moving forward feels impossible because everything and everyone is getting in my way. That belief reminds me that I can do this.

Vegan ice cream is coming, people (of the Boulder/Denver metro area. And soon the world). It’s coming because I’m so, so excited to make this dream into a real, tangible four (or three) wheeled being. And I can’t wait to bring it to you.

Hey, girl.

As I kick off this new endeavor, here’s some stuff you may need/want to know:

Where does Best One Yet come from?
I’m so glad you asked! When I first started making vegan ice cream about three years ago, I got into it. Really into it. Clearly. And every time I would master a new flavor, Colin would declare it the “best one yet.” It’s cute, it stuck and here we are.

Are you leaving your job at Holstee?
Nope! Not now, anyway. While I do hope that Best One Yet has success and will eventually lead me to professionally part ways, that’s not happening just yet. I do have to say, and will probably say so again throughout this transitional time, Holstee has been a big piece of what got me here. I appreciate what they stand for as a brand and as individuals and I stand with them in their belief that life is meant to be owned, crafted and sought after. I truly can’t say how long it would have taken me to get here had I not first met this group of warm, real, wonderful people. They’ve been nothing but supportive and enthusiastic about my urge to drive an old FedEx truck and wear a paper hat. For that I feel very lucky. (Thank you.)



What about green girl eats?
Still green, still eating. I will probably be taking a temporary hiatus in order to focus on building the business, but this blog is also a huge piece of what got me here. I'll continue to post from time to time and when I'm able. Every girl's gotta eat, right?

Why vegan?
Because. Just kidding. But seriously, why not? Vegan ice cream is something that can be enjoyed by all. The jury is continually out on dairy and I know I personally feel worlds better when I skip it. I’m not here to tell anyone how to live or what foods to avoid. Instead, my goal is simple: to give you a coconut based ice cream (with no weird stuff) that is so good, you won’t know/care what you’re missing. It should be amazing first and vegan second. It’s ice cream for everyone.

Who made your badass branding?

The awesome dudes at Good Apples in Boulder, CO. I couldn’t be happier with the work they did. If you’re looking, I’m recommending: they’re great!

Will you name a flavor after me?
Yes.

When, when, when?
Soon, soon, soon, I promise.

For updates (and updated answers to questions like “When?”), sign up for my newsletter here. It won’t be spammy but informative with necessary puns like “Here’s the scoop.” You love it. Don’t leave.

Other places to find updates (and to friend & follow!), find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

See you out there!

-H