Big Softie’s matcha soft serve with a strawberry hard shell in a homemade waffle cone
Where do you go when you miss the soft serve of your youth? If you’re Sarah O’Brien, pastry chef extraordinaire, you build your own soft serve shop. This summer, she opened Big Softie in the Summerhill neighborhood. “If Little Tart Bakeshop [O’Brien’s bakery] is Paris, then Big Softie is the south of France,” she says with a laugh.
The intimate shop is an Instagrammer’s delight, with blue terrazzo countertops and retro tile. Just as photogenic is the soft serve, with the added bonus of being completely decadent, thanks to O’Brien’s meticulous touch. She uses locally sourced Southern Swiss Dairy’s milk and cream, organic cane sugar and high-quality ingredients (like Valrhona chocolate). After months of tweaking like a self-described mad scientist, she nailed a formula for rich, creamy soft serve that swirls perfectly. There are five flavors to choose from including: chocolate, vanilla, coffee and a seasonal one that rotates, along with a vegan vanilla made with oat milk.
Don’t forget the toppings. O’Brien’s penchant for the unique is evident again in the form of house-baked vegan oat streusel, pink praline (a Francophile treat of rose-hued caramelized almonds), bespoke sprinkles by Beautiful Briny Sea, and honeycomb. If you’ve been looking for a cool escape from the Atlanta heat, look no further. @bigsoftieatl