Portland’s Sticky Sweet Takes the Cream Out of Ice Cream
The plant-based ice cream shop serves up Wonka-esque flavors.
A scoop of peanut-butter cookie atop a scoop of cookies and cream.
By Kaitlyn Schwalje Photographed by Clayton Simoncic
Several hundred ice-cream shops cater to summer sweet tooths around Maine, but only one strictly serves plant-based scoops. Vegan sisters Ashley and Kelley Dow opened Sticky Sweet just before the pandemic, in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood, where they make their ice cream without milk or eggs. Ashley, the mastermind behind the recipes, blends cashew and coconut milks and gets a creaminess with none of the chalky, icy textures that often plague nondairy ice cream. Sticky Sweet ice cream is also free of refined cane sugar, as the sisters use dates, coconut sugar, and Maine maple syrup for sweetness. The waffle cones and add-ins, like gluten-free cookies and brownie chunks, are all made in-house. For customers who prefer their nontraditional ice cream in traditional flavors, the shop offers chocolate, vanilla, cookies-and-cream, and other classics, but there’s also a rotating cast of Wonka-esque options, from lemon fig cookie to salted sunflower butterscotch to purple potato sorbet.