“You should open a bakery.” “You should go on Ultimate Recipe Showdown.” How many of us hear words of encouragement like this from friends and family? How many of us actually follow through with such plans?
Thankfully, partners Keith Schroeder and Hunter Thornton listened to those who encouraged them to start a business producing artisan ice cream. Schroeder, who hatched the idea about ten years ago, later entered an MBA degree program at Kennesaw State University and found the support needed to make his dream a reality.
Schroeder used his time at Kennesaw State to further develop his business plan. Pairing up with classmate Hunter Thornton, he entered in a number of graduate level business competitions with this plan. Having won several of these, including the New Ventures World Competition at the University of Nebraska, the team had a little seed money and enough legitimacy to get investors on board. Schroeder offers encouragement to small businesses, “It’s not true that no money is available. If you have a sound business plan, people will talk.”
With a great deal of hard work and investor backing, Schroeder and Thornton have given life to High Road Craft Ice Cream and Sorbet. Tucked away in their humble kitchen off Perimeter Park Drive, they are able to crank out 600 gallons of product in a 24 hour period. The company is currently focused on selling to restaurants and hotels. The rest of us may be lucky enough to see retail stores in the next 18-24 months.
Drawing on his culinary degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta, Schroeder and his team have developed a list of core flavors but welcome the opportunity to create new ones. Their core flavors include sweet cream and roasted pecan ice creams, as well as Greek yogurt and Asian pear and peppercorn sorbets. My favorite? The silky-smooth malted maple cinnamon ice cream and the fresh but tart red berries sorbet. With a wide array of flavors, there is something for everyone.
Wildfire and South City Kitchen Restaurants are among the first to have their custom flavors developed by High Road. The flavor created for South City Kitchen is dubbed “Peachtree Road” — a play on Rocky Road — with sorghum soaked stewed peaches, salted peanuts, marshmallows, and pecans. The Atlanta Athletic Club and Schroeder’s own employer, the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, have also chosen to order from High Road.
True to their name, this creamery takes the “high road” by using as many organic ingredients as possible. They source the majority of their grassfed dairy and eggs from Natural By Nature, a farm in Pennsylvania, and Working Cows Dairy in Alabama. High Road also uses Royal Food Service to help them find “the right produce at the right time.”
What’s next for High Road? Before we see retail locations, it’s likely that we’ll see a retail outlet at High Road’s production facility. It will have limited hours and will only sell in wholesale quantities.
Anyone want to split a 5 liter pan?
– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.