Wandering Yeti is hosting a vegan frozen custard pop-up on June 9 at Steve's Hot Dogs

Vegan frozen custard startup Wandering Yeti will throw its first public pop-up at Steve’s Hot Dogs on Thursday, June 9.

Five flavors will be available for the event: the Gooey Buttah (contains coconut), cookies & creme, Icelandic mint chocolate chip (contains soy), strawberry, and chocolate-caramel-praline (contains nuts). The Gooey Buttah flavor is made using Royally Baked’s gluten free vegan Gooey Buttah cake.

The event at Steve’s Hot Dogs will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Each 6-ounce serving of frozen custard will be served in jars, which can be taken home or consumed on the premises. Steve’s Hot Dogs will also be operating as normal, and people who are strictly vegan and/or gluten-free should note that Steve’s menu does include a number of vegan and gluten free options.

Wandering Yeti co-owner Scott Morrissey stressed that while his recipes are gluten-free and free of several major allergens, the products are currently still being produced in a facility where cross-contamination is possible. He said Wandering Yeti will be setting up in a fully gluten-free and allergen-free facility in the near future.

The journey started for co-owners Scott and Julia Morrissey when they decided to go vegan 11 years ago. Scott said they took to vegan eating smoothly – but they did miss ice cream. At that time, vegan ice cream options were few and far between. “Back then there was just really nothing good,” Scott said. “My favorite ice cream was Trader Joe's soy vanilla, which was one of the inspirations for me wanting to do this because I knew that there had to be a better way.”

A few years later, Scott’s father-in-law bought him an ice cream maker. “I just went to town,” he said. He looked up recipe after recipe, but found the majority were coconut-based. He wasn’t a fan of coconut, and eventually that forced him to re-evaluate. “I scrapped the whole looking for vegan ice cream recipes idea, and literally just started looking at regular ice cream,” he said. “Just studying regular ice cream recipes – what gives it the right flavor profile? What about milk and giving it that texture? We had to figure it out from the ground up.”

When Scott eventually arrived at an ice cream recipe he was satisfied with, he set himself a new challenge: to create a vegan frozen custard. Again, the recipe development process meant Scott had to dissect the elements that make frozen custard distinct from ice cream. “Instead of trying to replace the actual egg in the product, I just went for flavor and texture,” he said. He learned about the importance of overrun – essentially, air content – in creating that silky smooth, creamy texture that St. Louisans love. As Scott and Julia evolved their frozen custard recipe, they shared the product with friends and family, who encouraged them to consider selling it.

Now they’re getting ready to take their product to the public, and the Morrisseys are not standing still. They haven plenty more flavors ready to go, and will be hosting further pop-ups this summer – follow them on Instagram to keep up with announcements. Scott also said Wandering Yeti is scouting for a potential storefront location. “Once we do get a storefront, the flavor options are literally endless,” Scott said.