Kokos Ice Cream creators Jerusa van Lith and Sam Brooker want to show you just how good ice cream can be.
Nashville, Tennessee – On one of the last rainy, cold spring days, I pull up to the ONEC1TY complex on Charlotte Avenue and note how all the grey shipping container buildings look like they’re in hibernation mode. But the new addition to their block is a pale pink container with string lights glowing around the outside and some cheery modern deck furniture defying the grey weather. This is the flagship “Skoop Shop” for Kokos, Nashville’s newest dairy-free and plant-based ice cream company. Two years in the making, the shop is perfectly nestled amongst similarly health-conscious neighbors like Avo, SandBar, Full Ride Cycling, and CrossFit—as if they’d all planned for decades to be here.
Inside I’m greeted by cofounders Jerusa van Lith and Sam Brooker, and the most elegant, grammable décor I’ve ever seen in an ice cream shop or shipping-container-turned-retail-space: emerald-green velvet chairs and stools, tiny gold side tables, happy plants, warm lighting, and walls painted in wide stripes of pale ice cream colors. In short, a place where you want to hang out to see and be seen.
Van Lith, Brooker, and I walk over to the ONEC1TY building to talk in a quiet corner of the lobby, and they take turns telling me more about the scene they’ve intentionally set at the shop and with their plant-based ice cream.
“Anything anywhere we can have a positive vibration or good effect with anything we do, we do that. We choose that over almost anything really,” Van Lith shares.
“[When you make] music, you hope people feel something. That’s the goal, right? Is that you create something that [makes] people feel something,” Brooker says. “That’s what ties into Kokos, too, is like you walk in and we want you to feel something, feel like the world’s a little bit more beautiful.”…
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