Who says this isn’t the perfect season to open another business serving

Who says this isn’t the perfect season to open another business serving frozen dessert? Mimi Gelato is a postage-stamp-size shop at 2315 N.W. Market St. in Ballard. Visual artist Diem Chau and her husband Will Leonard, who also run a commercial kitchen, are set to swing the doors open any cold day now. “I got the OK from the health inspector 11 days ago,” Leonard says, “but we’re still waiting to see the permit come through in the mail.” Mimi is the name of Chau’s childhood cat, whose stylized likeness serves as the shop’s logo and is featured on the super-cute sandwich board visible through a peephole in the butcher-papered window. With pressed tin walls and reclaimed wood from the original Ballard Fish Market–which opened in this location 75 years ago–this shop has a clean, stylish look. “We’re getting our gelato from Bottega Italiana,” Chau explains via e-mail, “but also plan to do our own as well. I’d like to make some Asian flavors like matcha, red bean, and black sesame . . . I had some in San Francisco and it was amazing. It’s also something that Seattle doesn’t have.” (For the record, Procopio Gelateria, located on the Pike Place Market Hillclimb, has made such flavors, though they won’t necessarily be available when you walk in the door.) Bottega Italiana gelato uses local milk and offers seasonal fruit flavors, with no artificial colors or flavors. And the couple’s own gelato? “We’ve been playing at home,” Will says. “You can the flavor right, but then you have to get the texture right.”

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