OK, so I know it’s not quite summer yet, but ice cream season is upon us.
There are so many delicious varieties of ice cream at Pittsburgh’s many great ice cream shops that the idea of trying to choose one feels impossible.
So this is where NEXTpittsburgh readers come in: Help us spotlight your favorite ice cream and other frozen desserts — frozen yogurt, gelato, custard and anything else you can eat with a spoon or put on top of an ice cream cone. Tell us why the place that serves it is special: Have you been going there for years? Is it a new place or just new to you? Are the owners/proprietors doing something unique and interesting?
Email me your ideas or tag NEXTpittsburgh in your ice cream photos on Instagram, and tell us why your fave should make the cut.
I’ll start us off with a new flavor from a Pittsburgh favorite that’s raising funds for a good cause. Millie’s Homemade is teaming up with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy on its new ice cream flavor Out of This World. Throughout the month of April, a portion of the proceeds of scoops, pints and buckets of Out of This World will support summer education programs at the Frick Environmental Center.
It’s vanilla cake ice cream made with all-natural, plant-based dyes, and 100% local dairy, according to a news release from Millie’s. Out of This World is available at participating Millie’s Scoop Shops, Giant Eagle Market District locations, and other locations that sell Millie’s ice cream.
Look how cute that is!
“The Parks Conservancy is tremendously grateful for the support from Millie’s,” James Brown, director of education and the Frick Environmental Center, says in a press release. “This collaboration provides a perfect way for Pittsburghers to celebrate nature this Earth Month by enjoying a delicious, earth-friendly ice cream that benefits future generations of park stewards.”
Founded by Chad and Lauren Townsend in 2014, Millie’s has grown to 10 stores across the region plus a production facility in Homestead. Millie’s recently announced a new partnership with Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, which will become a minority investor and strategic partner in the company.
The amount of the investment wasn’t disclosed, but it will allow Millie’s to “fuel the expansion of its geographic footprint,” according to a news release. The companies already had a long-standing business relationship: Since 2016, Millie’s ice cream has been served at The Porch at Schenley, one of the restaurants under the umbrella of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group.
“We were looking for a local partner with extensive operational and management expertise to help us expand, and they were the perfect fit,” says Chad Townsend.
So you’re up, readers: What’s the scoop?