Millie's Homemade Ice Cream
Millie's Homemade Ice Cream. Photo by Adam Milliron.

Downtown will get a little sweeter this spring with a second Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream shop set to open in Market Square on Forbes Avenue. The Pittsburgh-based small batch ice creamery has quickly become a local favorite since opening its first store on Highland Avenue in Shadyside a little less than a year ago. Before that, Millie’s gained a lot of fans when it was offered as a subscription-based CSA.

Chef Chad Townsend (Salt of the Earth, Eleven) and his wife, Lauren have put together an in-house pasteurization facility in North Point Breeze where they use all-natural milk and eggs from Western Pennsylvania farms.

Millie’s is known for its creative and inspired flavors, frequently placing unique flavors in the spotlight. This has drawn the attention not only of ice cream lovers but also of chefs and foodies who head to the Shadyside shop (even in the middle of winter) to savor options like Black Walnut & Molasses, Coconut-Lime and Olive Oil.

The opportunity to spread a little ice cream love downtown is an exciting proposition for the owners. “We’re looking forward to getting to know a different area and to being part of the rapidly changing downtown vibe with so many new restaurants and condos,” says owner Chad Townsend. 

The new shop on Forbes Avenue, next door to Revel + Roost, will have a distinctively different look than the original Millie’s in Shadyside. “Much of the difference will be that the new location is part of an existing building with lots of glass, where the Shadyside store is actually a repurposed neighborhood ice cream shop,” says Townsend. 

Leading the design of the new downtown location will be Pittsburgh-based food photographer and creative director, Adam Milliron. Milliron, who already has a key role in all the creative elements and branding associated with Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, will have an opportunity to build on his existing work in the new space.

Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream. Photo by Adam Milliron.
Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream. Photo by Adam Milliron.

The downtown location may have a little of its own identity when it comes to flavors as well.  “We plan to create a couple unique flavors for downtown and maybe rotate them around a bit,” says Townsend. “But we also might keep a couple flavors exclusive to Shadyside,” he adds. So it looks like diehard fans may have to commute.

In addition to the Shadyside location (232 S. Highland Ave.), Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream is available by the pint in a few local grocery stores and retail shops. It is also available for shipping through their website.

Tom O'Connor

Tom O'Connor is a photographer and writer currently based in Pittsburgh.