Photo by Allyce Andrew
Adria Shimada, founder of Parfait, breaks apart ingredients for her ice cream behind the counter on Monday, Dec. 16.

Parfait opens in Ballard

By Allyce Andrew

Ballard’s latest permanent development isn’t a high-rise apartment complex, but an organic ice-cream shop that strives for the simplest values: farm-fresh, homemade treats.

The shop’s name is Parfait and though it started as a transient ice-cream truck in 2009, founder Adria Shimada decided to set roots down permanently in Ballard with her first brick-and-mortar shop. With the truck aside, Parfait is now located snugly next to the newest Skillet Dinner in downtown Ballard behind the local branch of the Seattle Public Library.

“I have lived in Ballard with my husband for almost six years, even before I opened the Parfait truck,” said Shimada.  “We have raised our son in this neighborhood.  So, it is a veritable dream come true for me to build the Parfait kitchen and workshop here.”

“Compared to the truck,” she continued, “the shop provides a better and more versatile canvas that allows for much more creativity and expression.”

Now, ice-cream enthusiasts have the option of purchasing more flavors, new toppings, push-pops, cakes, craft sodas and Parisian hot chocolate - just to name a few.

Parfait offers Seattle’s only “from-scratch” ice cream and Shimada keeps the booming “Localize It” mantra close to heart while crafting her desert.  Most berries, honey, fruit and ingredients are locally sourced from farmers throughout Washington State, like the organic cream and milk from Fresh Breeze Dairy Farms in Lynden and eggs from Yelm.

With an added element of sustainability, she even cultivates a small garden outside of the shop where she harvests extra ingredients also uses only biodegradable packaging and spoons.

Shimada said she strives for transparency while crafting her treats in Parfait, which is why the giant windows into the kitchen were an obvious choice while designing her permanent store. She wanted customers to see for themselves what the process of farm-to-table ice cream looks like.

Shimada’s culinary career was largely inspired by her year studying abroad at the University of Paris, where she assisted a “farmstead” inn near Toulouse. With Europe behind her, she expanded her experience with an internship with Amy’s Bread in New York and worked with Greens in San Francisco and La Farine bakery in the Bay Area before returning to Seattle.  

Shimada said there’s something “inherently nostalgic” about ice cream and she hopes that Parfait will offer more than another sweet-shop option to Ballard residents, but a social hub to create new memories.

“I hope that Parfait will become part of the lives of the Ballard community and mean a lot of nice things to a lot of different people -- a regular family outing, a first date, an after dinner destination or a place to relish a small personal treat in the middle of the day.”

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