When the two founders of The STIL tell you, “Life is sweet,” you’re inclined to believe them.
Originally from Ohio, Dan Sell, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of The STIL, has always been a fan of ice cream. “It’s something I did with my mom and dad back east as a kid. We would go out for ice cream as a family and get all these unique flavors at the local shop, and when I got to Boise, I wanted to know where I could go and bring my family,” says Dan.
Kasey Allen, The STIL’s other Co-Owner and Co-Founder, saw the need for a space in Boise for families and friends to celebrate the goodness of life and to give back to the community. “[The STIL] is a really cool thing Boise doesn’t have, and hopefully we can create a space that Boiseans are really proud of,” says Kasey.
“The Sweetest Things In Life,” or, “The STIL,” is a gorgeously modern ice cream parlor that stands in the heart of downtown Boise’s BoDo district. Its modern interior feels like the combination of a brewery, distillery, and ice cream parlor. The shop’s warm wood and modern neutral colors immediately set it apart from the usual ice cream or candy shop. “We didn’t want to make a shop that was traditional,” says Dan. ”We wanted something that really represented Boise.”
Kasey and Dan did their research before embarking on their journey to open The STIL. “We both have business backgrounds, but no background in food service,” says Kasey. “All of a sudden, we had our branding down and the idea of what we wanted to create.” Before they knew it, the pair were attending the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Conference (yes, there’s a convention just for ice cream retailers, and it’s just as amazing as you think).
“We went down to the conference for several days and learned everything we could about making ice cream, flavor development, and retail,” says Kasey. “Dan’s the ice cream scientist, and we kind of learned as we went. We even ended up going to North Carolina for three days and received hands-on training from a nationally known ice cream chef.”
Kasey and Dan are both dedicated to the craft of ice cream artistry, but they intend for The STIL to influence the community on a deeper level. “It’s an ice cream shop, but it’s not,” says Dan. “We want to utilize it to get involved with things we wouldn’t have been able to get involved with.” The STIL is currently fundraising for several charities and in the process of getting in touch with the Boise refugee community.
“We want to be a vehicle to give back and to support schools, local businesses, and more,” says Dan. The STIL partners with as many local businesses as possible to obtain ingredients for their ice cream. Kasey and Dan make all their ice cream on-site, using dairy products from a farm in Idaho Falls, coffee products from local roasters, beer from local breweries, and more. Most of their ingredients are sourced from Idaho to create great tasting, delicious flavors as unique as Boise.
While The STIL will feature esoteric flavors, they have staple flavors available with a twist: vanilla with cream cheese and a “chocolate mint,” chocolate steeped in natural mint to infuse the mint’s earthy flavor. “We want to have a little taste of something for everyone.” says Dan, the primary ice cream chef. Kasey and Dan have also developed recipes for a caramel IPA flavor, a coffee porter flavor, a honey bourbon flavor, and one of their personal favorites, “Field of Dreams,” a butterscotch base made with cracker jacks and beer. “We’re even working with Boise Fry Company to try to make a flavor that incorporates their French fries,” says Kasey.
In addition to their unique flavors, The STIL serves beer, wine, and a limited all-day food menu. They also offer custom flights of beer and wine pairings with their ice creams, a completely unique offering to Boiseans looking for a fun night out. Both owners say offering vegan and non-dairy sorbet options is important to them and their goal to reach all types of Boiseans who want to enjoy The STIL. These options will rotate frequently.
The STIL is open year-round, featuring hot butterscotch, hot chocolate, and espresso served over ice cream during the winter months. “Events will probably pick up in the winter as well. Once we get going, we’d love to do events where we show people how to make ice cream,” says Kasey. “We want to bring a local artist in so they can teach people their craft and do a beer or wine and ice cream pairing.”
There’s no doubt that Kasey and Dan have big plans for The STIL. At one point, they even discuss plans to put their own spin on an ice cream truck by building an ice cream tricycle. “It’s basically a tricycle with a big cooler on the front. We want to take it to events so people don’t always have to come to us. The ice cream would be prepackaged with a lid so we can visit people where ever the city will let us go.” It’s clear that The STIL wants to find new and creative ways to delight people in Boise.
Life is pretty sweet, and The STIL’s arrival only makes it sweeter. Take a second to reflect on the sweetest things in life by visiting them in BoDo.