It is summertime, and ice cream sales are soaring as people seek sweet relief from the sizzling heat.
Many patrons at Sammamish Farmers Market have gotten their fix through Forget-Me-Not Ice Cream Sandwiches, a new vendor this year that sells its sweet treats at the market every other week.
Founded in 2019, Forget-Me-Not had been active at the Kirkland Farmers Market, and has done pop-ups in Redmond and Renton.
“My vendor friends who did the Sammamish Farmers Market last year had a lot of good things to say about the Sammamish Farmers Market and they really had a great time selling here,” Hannah Laurin, the owner, said. “So I was like I’ll take the shot.”
These ice cream sandwiches are created using locally grown ingredients, with special molasses cookies that have proven popular with customers.
“The chocolate cherry flavor is incredibly popular, just because people around here love their cherries, it’s very Washington flavored,” Laurin said. “I use double chocolate cookies with tart pie cherries from Remlinger farms to make the ice cream, it’s a very rich, decadent ice cream bite.”
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Laurin initially worked as a theater artist after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Theater Art. However, during Laurin’s upbringing, she was heavily influenced by her grandmother and baked with her for fun.
“My grandmother was an amazing home baker,” she said. “Growing up, she made these awesome molasses cookies that she always had in her cookie jar.”
After a few years in the field of theater, Laurin went back to school to get a degree in pastry arts from Renton Technical College (RTC), and worked for a couple of years in the professional world of pastry making. She eventually wanted to start her own bakery business. But her partner, who was an experienced professional chef, believed that another bakery would not work because there were too many of them in the market.
The idea of making ice cream sandwiches came when Laurin and her partner went out to dinner and shared a table with a group of strangers. In the conversation, one of the ladies asked what Laurin’s favorite thing to make was.
“I just kind of blurted out ice cream because that’s the first thing I could think of and it’s true that I love making ice cream,” Laurin said. “And that’s when I really thought like, I can take grandma’s molasses cookies and my ice cream recipes to make ice cream sandwiches.”
To test out the idea, Laurin decided to sell her handcrafted, naturally flavored ice cream sandwiches at the Crossroads Farmers Market in June 2019. Her sales were decent, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, forcing Laurin to lay low. She used this down time to advance her small business operating skills by taking several online business courses.
Gradually, Laurin started selling at more farmers markets across King County. She even experimented with staying open year-round by adding the Burien Farmers Market in October, but ultimately decided to keep Forget-Me-Not as a seasonal business.
Creativity has also been a key factor in her success. Laurin said she is usually the only vendor at these markets who sells ice cream sandwiches, with unique favors that reflect the bounty of local ingredients.
Corrections: (1) The original article mistakenly highlighted that Forget-Me-Not Ice Cream Sandwiches operated at farmers markets in Redmond and Renton. We corrected this to indicate they have only done pop-ups in these cities. (2) The original article misquoted her as saying her she used cherries from “layer farms.” This has been corrected to “Remlinger Farms.” (3) We mistakenly referred to Hannah Laurin’s partner as “husband,” and corrected it to “partner.”