Now open: Milkjam

Credit: Pastry chef Ben Spangler steps out with samples at Milkjam Creamery. Photo by Michelle Bruch

It may have been the dead of winter, but lines wound through Milkjam Creamery as soon as the doors opened in January.

Pastry chef Ben Spangler, a former artist and clothing designer, has spent many hours perfecting vegan ice cream recipes made with coconut milk and almond milkfat.

“I’m having fun coming up with this stuff,” he said.

Milkjam discovered some of the flavors by mistake — “Black” was created when a staffer accidentally poured in black cocoa (a more earthy, robust flavor) instead of dark cocoa.

Originality is everywhere on the menu. They slice Glam Doll donuts in half and scoop ice cream into the middle. They make alcoholic floats with champagne and passion fruit ice cream. They’re planning ice cream pies, perhaps with graham cracker crust and kaffir lime ice cream, and they’re working to make their own waffle cones.

During slower periods, customers can ask “What Would Chef Do?” That’s when Spangler gets creative, making sundaes incorporating black fig & mezcal ice cream with coffee brittle and smoked almonds.

Early favorites include the toasted coconut vegan ice cream, the house honeycomb candy, and the Thai Tea — Spangler’s flavor of choice.

“I make these every day, and it’s the only one I crave at the end of the day,” he said.