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Taking the High Road: Artisan Ice Cream & Sorbet

Courtesy of High Road Craft

Courtesy of High Road Craft

“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.”

Jenny-Turknett-TaglineWhat’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.

16 comments Add your comment

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indigo

October 26th, 2010
9:21 am

A logical followup to this article is a visit to Greenwood Ice Cream on Peachtree Industrial, which does have limited retail sales and which for many years has been providing local restaurants with specialty ice cream. Nice to have a new boy on the block, but why not give some attention to an old standby?

Cump Sherman

October 26th, 2010
9:30 am

Ice cream for idiots. All that fancy-schmancy flavoring does is mask the fact that they can’t produce vanilla worth a damn. Of course, it appeals to a an effete-snob food “critic.”

James

October 26th, 2010
9:53 am

Sounds delicious. Nice to see a place focusing on sustainable ingredients. Not too many ice cream shops like that around. I wish them the best of luck!

@Cump – get a life. If you don’t like food articles/reviews, don’t read them. Coming here and insulting the author because she’s a food critic is just pathetic and sad.

John Kessler

October 26th, 2010
9:53 am

Can you tell me why you didn’t like the vanilla ice cream, Cump? The texture? The flavor? I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard it’s delicious.

PJ

October 26th, 2010
10:06 am

Ice cream is my dessert weakness & now my mouth is watering thinking about it. Like @indigo, I have always been a Greenwood’s ice cream fan – the lemon ice cream is out of this world. I am excited that there is a new local player in town and hoping to taste some of its products soon. I could see malted maple cinnamon becoming a new fall favorite.

Kirk

October 26th, 2010
10:08 am

@ cump, You seem to have a chocolate chip on your shoulder.

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Auntie Alli

October 26th, 2010
10:35 am

Count me in on a pan! Now I know why I love the ice cream at the AAC and South City Kitchen. I’m always glad to hear about more places using organic ingredients. Can’t wait for them to open a retail location.

PJ

October 26th, 2010
2:01 pm

Just curious, if someone from High Road is reading this, is there a reason that more ingredients aren’t sourced locally?

HighRoad

October 26th, 2010
2:22 pm

High Road team here…regarding sourcing of local ingredients, we have two valued produce experts on the ground…drumming up sources for us from all over the Southeast. We are proud members of Georgia Organics and are networking rapidly to develop relationships with fellow members. Atlanta Fresh Yogurt (amazing!) is a valued supplier, and we are forging a relationship with Karmic Kookies in hopes of parnering on Ice Cream sandwiches. We’re working on an exclusive flavor for Kennesaw State University with Organic Honey from their farm, and are all about having local farmers and artisans getting in touch to introduce us to their ingredients. One of our planned milk providers (Working Cows Dairy) from Alabama happens to be the only USDA Certified Organic and Grass Fed milk around. Thanks for the question.

HotlantaHobo

October 26th, 2010
7:41 pm

Having lived Cincinnati for a few years I learned what great ice cream is. Just stop by any Graeters or Aglemesis Bros. shop and there it is, reasonably priced and gimmick-free. I’d hope you might have a product on par with those, and if you do, could we have some nice shops to enjoy it in scattered all over town? Those places are old-fashioned so they might not have enough trendiness for this market. But I’m not too interested in having to order an expensive dinner just to get some fine ice cream for dessert.

And no, I don’t want to split a 5 liter pan, just two scoops, please, in a cup, and hold the attitude.

ATLien

October 26th, 2010
8:11 pm

Jenny – I’ll split a pan! Their flavors sounds delicious. I’d love a retail location but at least now I have another excuse to go back to Woodfire.
Graeters – been there, done that. It was good and worth a visit when in CVG. Comparing Graeter’s to what High Road is churning out (pun intended) is comparing the proverbial apples and oranges.

Bob from Accounttemps

October 26th, 2010
8:54 pm

Artisan, shmartisan. It’s the latest buzzword along with “organic” and “sustainable”. Does Morelli’s need to rely on such nonsense? Did Jake’s? Let the product do the talking and stop with the transparent marketing nonsense.

James

October 27th, 2010
9:44 am

@Bob – organic and grassfed ingredients cost a good bit more, which isn’t usually good for the bottom line. I’m sure High Road would make more money without using them, but it’s certainly nice to see companies with a sense of social responsibility. I doubt it has anything to do with “transparent marketing”, though I do think it’s great that you’ve tried so hard to say something negative about a blog post on ice cream. You must be a real party to be around ;)