Bluebird Ice Cream Partners With SU
Josh Kessler-Reynolds, owner of Bluebird Ice Cream, says he likes to roll with what his neighborhood wants.
Josh Kessler-Reynolds says being community-minded is a way of life. The owner of Bluebird Ice Cream, 1205 Pike St., says he gets a request every day to donate ice cream and has to be selective, although he provides Bluebird for many Seattle University and neighborhood events, such as the popular Concert for Community on the campus last August, SU service organization Phi Alpha Delta's fall charity poker tournament to benefit the area Alzheimer's Association and the Capi- tol Hill Chamber of Commerce Neighborhood Street Sweep.
"I try hardest to respond to requests from the community, where I can have the most localized impact."
- Josh Kessler-Reynolds
"I've been the one asking for support, so I understand when people ask for mine. I much prefer giving away ice cream to writing a check for advertising, because ice cream makes people happy," says Kessler- Reynolds, whose background includes nonprofit organization management experience in upstate New York's Adirondack State Park.
When the economy tanked, Kessler- Reynolds saw it as a great opportunity to
start his ice cream business. Retail space finally became affordable to fit his business plan.
Open less than two years, Bluebird has been lauded by MSN as one of the 10 best ice cream shops in the nation. Seattle Weekly proclaims Bluebird serves the best coffee ice cream, made with local Stumptown coffee. Voracious, the Weekly's food blog, put Bluebird in the top five for its dairy-free options, inspired by Plum, a vegan bistro nearby. Imbibe magazine and the Huffington Post lauded Bluebird's boozy ice cream called Elysian Stout, crafted with beer from the famed brewery next door.
Kessler-Reynolds rides his bike to work and rolls with what his neighborhood wants. "It's not a careful plan but a natural evo-
lution," he says.
Take the PB&J flavor, inspired by a
10-year-old boy whose dad owns Izilla Toys around the corner. Kessler-Reynolds soon discovered the weirder the flavor, the better. Carrot ginger? Beet ice cream with a fudge swirl?
His espresso Elysian Stout ice cream floats are catching on big time. So is the afogado, an espresso shot poured over a scoop of ice cream. He rotates beers from numerous local microbrewers. Inspired by smoky bacon ale from Odin Brewing Co., he crafted maple and hickory ice cream, which he likes to serve atop a waffle, with a glass of smoky bacon ale to wash it down.
Bluebird is a popular hangout for early a.m. coffee and tea lovers, light lunch crowd, late evening dessert and brewski lovers. Numerous SU graduates have been featured artists in the shop's monthly art displays.