Ashley Coyne expands her gluten-free, plant-based eatery to include dairy-free desserts, minimally processed toppings, and house-made sweets.
By Matt Skoufalos | December 15, 2020
On Thursday, Ashley Coyne celebrates five years at Heart Beet Kitchen, her plant-based eatery in Haddon Township.
How better to commemorate the occasion then opening the doors of an expanded storefront, and serving up scoops of dairy-free ice cream?
Starting at 8 a.m. December 17, Coyne will welcome the first guests to The Beet Creamery, a sweet shop adjunct to Heart Beet, with a menu of gluten-free, dairy-free desserts and house-made baked goods.
Over the weekend, work crews were putting the finishing touches on the new space, formerly the home of Ray and Mae Skinner’s Eleventh Step bookstore (see Kevin Riordan’s tribute in The Philadelphia Inquirer here).
When Eleventh Step shuttered before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit, its new owner offered Coyne the space first.
When it was still available in August, she signed the papers even before she’d worked out the idea of turning it into an ice cream counter.
“I felt like it was a sign,” Coyne said.
Heart Beet has always served up vegan, gluten-free desserts from its own kitchen, but ice cream wasn’t on the menu. So Coyne is bringing in Coconut Bliss products, both hard and soft serve.
Hard-dipped flavors include: dark chocolate, vanilla, cherry amaretto, salty caramel chocolate, mint chocolate, and chocolate hazelnut. Soft serve flavors are chocolate, vanilla, and twist.
All are made with minimally processed, organic ingredients, and Coyne is supplementing them with toppings like dye-free jimmies and SmartSweets plant-based, non-GMO gummies.
Heart Beet will also make its own waffle cones in-house from coconut sugar, as well as vegan and gluten-free toppings: cookie crumbles, brownie chunks, marshmallows, chocolate chips, walnuts, and graham crackers.
Coyne’s sister Kelsey is making doughnuts in-house, and Heart Beet will also serve up ice cream sandwiches, doughnut sandwiches, and sundaes.
More than anything, Coyne is excited to serve all manner of guilty-pleasure treats to those with food allergies and plant-based diets.
“If you have dietary restrictions, there’s just nowhere you can go to get a cone with everything on it; not even in Philly,” she said.
“When I go somewhere and I can have everything on the menu, I get so pumped.”
In the five years that Coyne’s operated Heart Beet, her local shop has grown into a destination supported by customers from Philadelphia to Ocean City, where she opened her first seasonal vegan eatery this past summer.
“I didn’t think it would work that way,” she said. “It’s crazy how it’s grown though. It makes me feel really happy that we have this solid customer base at this point and people trust us. It’s super-rewarding.”
Heart Beet Creamery will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and then 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, with longer hours in the summer.
Please support NJ Pen with a subscription. Get e-mails, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or try our Direct Dispatch text alerts.