Logan Square's Pretty Cool offers cold summer treats year-round

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Even though Friday is technically the final day of summer, a pair of entrepreneurs in Logan Square are hoping to keep the summer vibes going all year long, with their new ice cream shop.

They don't deal with traditional scoops, however; it's a "frozen novelty" shop.

The former Executive Pastry Chef for The Publican restaurants has done her share of elegant, plated desserts. But with a baby on the way and a new business partner, it was time to think childhood inspiration.

That's when the idea of a frozen novelty shop came to mind. Imagine, those sweet treats from your youth, but without the artificial flavors and a professional's eye toward creativity.

What's on offer aren't your dad's Bomb Pops. When Dana Salls Cree puts her mind to it, frozen treats have endless possibilities.

"Realized there was an entirely new avenue for creativity that I had never experienced before. That was very exciting for me so rather than open a scoop shop, we looked to the Popsicle truck for nostalgia," she said.

Partnering with Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits owner Michael Ciapciak, the two opened Pretty Cool about a month ago next door to the Logan Square post office. They've created five unique categories of pops and bars, beginning with custard.

"The custard bars are an egg-based ice cream, made in really classic ice cream flavors," said Salls Cree. "And then they're all dipped in a chocolate shell, and a lot of the chocolate shells have really fun textural additions to them. Potato chips and pretzel toffee, cocoa nibs in one of them."

"Buttermilk bars are where we make all of our fruit-flavored ice creams. So it's based off of a sherbet recipe which is really low in fat, high in fruit, and then we put a little buttermilk in there for acidity."

Expect flavors like black raspberry, huckleberry or tropical fruits.

"The truck pops are very inspired by popsicle trucks. They're water-based, often fruit-flavored," she said. "In line with classic popsicles."

That would mean tangerine, sour cherry or grape.

"The Plant Pops are ice cream made with plant-based milks," said Salls Cree.

They are perfect for vegans, or anyone lactose intolerant. Bars are made with coconut or rice milk, for example.

And then there are the party pops.

"The party pops are cream cheese ice cream dipped in a fun fruit magic shell that we make ourselves, then have nice crunchy sprinkles on top for fun," she said.

EXTRA COURSE: Pretty Cool's "Pony Pops"
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Pretty Cool's "Pony Pops" are designed for kids, some with no added sugar.

Pretty Cool
2353 N. California Ave.

Five Other Places to Get Sweet Treats:

Scooter's Custard
1658 W. Belmont

Greg's Frozen Custard
1490 S. Lake St., Mundelein

Graeter's Ice Cream
1347 Shermer Rd., Northbrook

940 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
3404 N. Southport
1505 N. Milwaukee Ave.
1419 N. Wells St.
900 W. Armitage Ave.

Homer's Ice Cream
1237 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette
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