After perfecting flavors like Dulce de Leche and lemon verbena over the past year and a half, the founders of Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream are finally opening their first brick-and-mortar store in Shadyside.
The grand opening at 232 Highland Ave. in Shadyside is set for March 15, says Millie’s co-founder Chad Townsend. The former executive chef at Salt of the Earth in Garfield, Townsend and his wife Lauren debuted Millie’s homemade original flavors at The Livermore in East Liberty back in August of 2014.
They began with a few staple flavors like peach, chocolate hazelnut and raspberry sorbet, eventually building the list to about a dozen year-round flavors and a rotating selection of seasonal offerings sold at restaurants and stores around the area. They even expanded Millie’s to include a CSA-like delivery service.
But Chad Townsend says the time and location were right to for the shop they’ve wanted to open for a while.
Millie’s will be in the space formerly occupied by the Oh Yeah! ice cream shop, next to Noodlehead. “It was great since it was already an ice cream shop, but we’ve done some work to make it more our style,” he says. The store has seating for about 10 people, and the Townsends added an outdoor deck for warmer weather. In addition to ice cream served in cups and cones, the store will have pints of ice cream to go and ice cream cakes as well.
Townsend says he’s got a few special things planned for the new menu including a Sicilian twist on the ice cream sandwich called brioche con gelato, which uses brioche bread from Allegro Hearth bakery. And he’s happy with the Highland Avenue location, which is home to or close to some of the neighborhood’s hottest eateries.
“There are great restaurants, but there’s a dearth of places that offer ice cream,” he says. “We think we’ll be a good fit there.”
He adds that Millie’s will continue to fine-tune their ice cream recipes at their plant in Point Breeze, but plan to have fun with the new store, hosting parties and events for customers.
“We take our ice cream very seriously,” he says. “But we don’t want to take ourselves too seriously.”