VEGANS, HERE’S THE SCOOP.

It’s been surprisingly cool these past few days in Austin, hasn’t it? And by “cool,” I mean, below 90 degrees. Around these parts, September usually heads into fall kicking and screaming, pretending it’s still summer, which is why we haven’t broken out the hot chocolate quite yet. We’re still nudging the central AC on. We’re still letting our legs go bare. And by God, we’re still licking our ice cream.

When I lived in Hyde Park, I watched Daily Juice Cafe rise up on the corner of 45th and Duval. A vegan restaurant! We were so excited. And I say without a trace of Portlandia irony: we were the people genuinely, truly tickled by the prospect of coconut meat tacos, dried kale chips, and a mountain of chia seeds. Everything was goji berry this, wheatgrass shot that, with propaganda for durian and flax oil tacked to the walls. It was game on for vegans.

But Ross and I left Hyde Park before Daily Juice could reveal its most impressive offering: Sweet Ritual, a vegan ice cream parlor started by my friend Amelia. I stopped by to visit her yesterday, and wouldn’t you know it? I was just in time for a sample!

Amelia used to work at Dhaba Joy, the coffee shop and vegan ice cream parlor next to Toy Joy that was open for about five minutes. Remember that place?  I tried the oat ice cream once, and quite liked it … but it was unpasteurized, and unpasteurized things tend to spoil quickly. So Amelia, being resourceful, did not let that stop her from serving her customers one day when the ice cream had gone bad, and folks were getting grumbly. (You know how you get when you want ice cream, and are denied.)

Instead, Amelia made her own vegan ice cream. Right there on the spot.

“Wait, what?” I asked her. “Made your own?”

Amelia explained that at that point, she had been a vegan long enough to know all the tricks — how to use fats, like coconut, to render dairyless things more luscious. She was also a former girl scout, and had made plenty of homemade ice cream in her day. On top of that, Amelia is a self-respecting ice cream aficionado, one who admits to eating ice cream in the bathtub. That’s dedication.

So Amelia whipped up that ice cream, not knowing if she would get in trouble — but indeed knowing that it would be delicious.

Her boss caught on.

“For this,” he said between bites, “you should get a raise.”

Amelia left Dhaba Joy, but not her affection or talent for vegan ice cream. And last December, Sweet Ritual was born.

Daily Juice employees and customers sampling Amelia’s creation: Vanilla soft-serve in a hand-dipped chocolate and roasted coconut flake cone. I needed “workout fuel” for yoga, so I had some too — divine.

Sweet Ritual is also holding its own Kickstarter right now so they can buy a new ice cream machine: One that will allow them to make scoopable, hard-packed ice cream, where Amelia can unleash her considerable creativity (have you seen those cones?) on a whole bevy of future flavors. I say we chip in! It runs through Saturday, and they are just a few hundred dollars short of their $4000 goal.

What flavor do you think Amelia should make with her new machine?