by Nicole Lisson
– The Capitol Hill Times –
There are many things to look forward to when spring arrives on Capitol Hill. Among them are cherry blossom trees in bloom, the Blitz Art Walk and the Broadway Farmer’s Market re-opening for the season. After buying produce imported from other countries for the past six months, it’s a breath of fresh air to stroll down the block and pick up locally grown fruit and vegetables. Come April 21 at 11 a.m., the Broadway Farmers Market will be open year-round. Do you know what that means? There are no more excuses to buy inferior produce. With new vendors being introduced each year, you have your pick of the lot. This summer, for example, we can look forward to Six Strawberries.
“Six Strawberries is Seattle’s first artisan handcrafted popsicle company,” Vanessa Resler told me Monday. The idea behind Will and Vanessa’s company formed a couple of years back when they saw the popsicle trend hitting the East Coast. Once they got serious about handcrafted popsicles, they had a long Skype session with Vanessa’s cousin Alex, who was in the hospital due to heart complications. A couple of hours later, they had created a huge document packed with ideas about the flavors they would concoct and how their shop would look.
“We were thinking once Alex got out of the hospital, we would go ahead and launch the business. Unfortunately, he had complications and passed away a week later,” Vanessa explained.
Six months later, after a heavy grieving process, Vanessa and Will found light at the end of the tunnel. Vanessa found the document they drafted together and decided to draw up a business plan.
“It was really uplifting for me to take myself out of the sadness of it all and work on something positive. We actually ended up naming the company Six Strawberries because it was an inside joke that I had with Alex,” Vanessa said.
Being a vendor at farmer markets around Seattle, they were able to make connections with local farmers face to face. Although Six Strawberries is not farm direct yet, they source from a fruit vendor that ensures they get everything Washington or Northwest grown.
“In addition, all our popsicles are dairy free. And our creamy textures are made with a tofu and coconut base to make it taste like ice cream,” Vanessa told me.
Her husband, Will, the mad scientist behind this formula is severally lactose intolerant. And when the recent boom of artisan ice cream happened, he felt deprived of the guilty pleasures he wished he could indulge in. That was how “Coco Fu,” which is what the ice cream base is called, originated. Surprisingly, it didn’t take that many tries to perfect.
“The first attempt at our fudge pop was pretty spot on. We did some pretty minor tweaks in ratios but the recipe was simple to figure out,” Vanessa said.
Six Strawberries finds inspiration in comfort foods like strawberry rhubarb pie or peanut butter and jelly – two of the flavors they serve. While they appreciate other companies that offer more refreshing flavors, they wanted to go straight for nostalgia.
Keep a lookout for the only licensed bicycle food cart in Seattle this summer at the Phinny Ridge, Queen Anne and Broadway Farmers Market. They may be the ones with a line of customers down the block.
Broadway Sunday Farmers Market
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Near the corner of Broadway and Pine St.