Salt & Straw, the Portland, Oregon-based ice-cream shop that has built its reputation on unexpected flavors such as sea urchin and foie gras, is headed to Miami with two locations.
The brand's first South Florida outposts will be located in Wynwood and Coconut Grove, each slated to open in spring 2020. The Coconut Grove shop also marks the ninth tenant to ink a deal at CocoWalk, the 150,000-square-foot entertainment complex. The redevelopment project, slated to be completed early next year, will offer restaurants and retailers such as Sushi Garage, Botanico Gin & Cookhouse, Los Generales Mezcal & Grill, Mister O1 Extraordinary Pizza, Palma de Leon, eyewear purveyor Edward Beiner, and the Spot Barbershop, as well as the music school School of Rock.
Salt & Straw's cofounders, cousins Kim and Tyler Malek, began churning their unique pints of ice cream in 2011. Tyler, the brand's chief flavor creator, found inspiration in Oregon's artisanal food-and-drink scene and garnered flavor ideas from local beers, chocolates, and even wine.
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"Taking Salt & Straw cross-country to the East Coast has been a long-term goal of ours, and determining where to debut our first store, it was not a decision we took lightly," Kim says. "We chose Coconut Grove due to the many parallels we found between this neighborhood and Portland. The Grove is centrally located, artistically inspired, and fosters a real sense of community."
In Portland, Salt & Straw has tapped into the the town's food scene for inspiration. The shop collaborates with everyone from local farmers and coffee roasters to bartenders and high-profile chefs. As a result, the menu often reads like a cheat sheet of Portland’s food scene and offers an ever-changing list of flavors including creative combinations such as avocado and Oaxacan chocolate, and black olive brittle and goat cheese.
The challenge now is to re-create each city's food scene in ice-cream form. From San Diego to Seattle, each city's shop will offer a menu incorporating local, seasonal ingredients alongside a list of the brand's classic year-round ice creams. In its quest to partner with Miami businesses for the Wynwood and CocoWalk outposts, Salt & Straw will likely take cues from tropical fruits and the city's growing beer scene.
Salt & Straw. 3015 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove; saltandstraw.com. Opening spring 2020.