High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet, Marietta, Ga., started in Atlanta as a group of chefs who made ice cream for other chefs to serve in restaurants, hotels and resorts.
Keith Schroeder, CEO and founder, said High Road is an R&D-focused company and its customers often seek them out when it’s idea time.
High Road Craft Ice Cream products are sold in grocery stores and specialty food stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Some of the company’s unique flavors include pistachio honey ricotta gelato, mango chile lime sorbet and Aztec chocolate and caramel ice cream.
The company also offers a line called BLVD that features eight flavors sold exclusively at Whole Foods. The flavors include praline almond and Classic Tortoni (jammy cherries, amaretti cookies and candied almonds in almond ice cream.) BLVD was born of collaboration with Whole Foods, said Schroeder.
“We wanted to create an affordable, rich custard-based ice cream, that celebrated the range of ice cream flavors enjoyed in America from the early 1900s to today,” he said.
Expanding the flavor, ingredient horizon
Schroeder said he is “finally seeing a departure from the ‘out there’ flavors and seeing [some] companies honing in on superior ingredient selection, more adult flavor profiles and a recognition of our changing cultural landscape of the United States.”
Sarah Chanin, marketing and PR strategist for the company, explained further. “As far as adult flavor profiles, we mean liquor-inspired flavors, travel-inspired flavors using flavor combinations and ingredients not found in the United States.”
She added, “Other artisan companies are picking up on the ‘changing cultural landscape’ meaning that people are traveling more than ever before and bringing those flavors back with them. People want authentic, not manufactured flavors.”
Schroeder gets his flavor inspiration from “cooking with others, travel, dining, digging deep into books, daydreaming [and] tinkering.”
So how does the company grow its following?
Chanin said, “The best way to get customers hooked on our ice cream is to have them taste it. We love doing culinary events, like Gourmet Foods International’s Cheese Fest and the 2016 Atlanta Brunch Festival. Having a team of chefs and culinary-minded folks allows us to play with ice cream in ways you wouldn’t expect— like making blue cheese ice cream, for example.”
Nicki Schroeder, COO and co-founder, said making everything by hand and putting an emphasis on customers has helped the company to grow.
“All of our inclusions from caramel to brownies to praline almonds are made in our own kitchen...people love that,” said Nicki Schroeder. “We work with our customers like partners. It’s not a one-sided conversation, it’s a real relationship.”
Read our original report on artisan ice cream here — "Putting the art back in ice cream."