If you’re trying to cool down on a sunny summer’s day, let us offer a suggestion: Head to the waterfront and try an ice cream cone at the Selkie Scoop. This organic ice creamery is part of the waterfront’s up-and-coming shipping container village, and it’s officially open for the season.
The Selkie Scoop is co-owned by sisters Meika Ziels and Bryn Hubbard. Working from a shipping container might be new territory, but both women are well-versed when it comes to both ice cream and the Bellingham restaurant community. The inspiration for The Selkie Scoop came from their experience working at Arcata Scoop in Northern California, and in addition, their parents are the owners of the Old Town Cafe.
“We’ve always wanted to start the ice cream shop but never really had the right situation,” Ziels says. “This seemed like a great opportunity. It’s kind of a new section of town, and it’s nice for us to just do a summer gig also, because we also help run the Old Town Cafe.”
So what’s it like operating a business from a shipping container? According to Hubbard, it’s not that different from running a brick-and-mortar endeavor (and shipping containers are surprisingly roomy). Moreover, it allows them to be part of an eclectic, up-and-coming business community in a part of Bellingham that’s long been underutilized.
“Seeing as we both grew up in town, we have watched the waterfront area go from [the Georgia Pacific plant] to a giant empty lot and we are so happy to, after many years, finally see that area being put to use,” Ziels says. “Being part of such a unique development idea is really fun and we are happy that the port got so creative.”
Of course, the shipping container isn’t the only thing that sets The Selkie Scoop apart from other ice creameries in town. Scoops come served in fresh-made, plant-based waffle cones, and all their ice creams are organic and made without added stabilizers.
“We source our ingredients from Straus Family Creamery, which is in Northern California, and it’s an energy-neutral organic dairy. They’re family owned. And we’ve always really liked their dairy products,” Ziels says. “It was really important to us to have organic dairy just because that’s one thing nobody else in Bellingham has.”
While 2021 was devoted to figuring out the learning curve, Hubbard and Ziels are excited to get more experimental with their flavors in 2022. Current offerings include Orange Chocolate Chip, Lemon Poppyseed, and a very popular Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream flavor made with organic peanut-butter-stuffed cookies. They make sure to offer several plant-based options, including sorbets and ice cream made with a coconut cashew base.
“We’re trying to do as much local stuff as we can, and so it’s fun to find fun new fruits and stuff that are available in the summer,” says Hubbard.
In 2021, the sisters made a flavor using kiwi berries from Bright Thread Farm. They’ve also utilized caramel and chocolate from Resonate Chocolate, candied and dried ginger from Bright & Sunny Ginger Beer, and berries from both Bow Hill Blueberries and their parents’ front yard.
After their grand opening midway through the season last year, 2022 will be the sisters’ first full summer in business. Visit their Instagram (@theselkiescoop) for updates, flavor news, and plenty of drool-worthy ice cream pics, or head to the waterfront to sample some for yourself. We couldn’t imagine a sweeter way to celebrate summertime. 294 W. Laurel St., Bellingham, theselkiescoop.com