In 2014, Chad and Lauren Townsend started Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream in their home kitchen. Chad, a chef looking to start his own business, put the cost of a Pacojet (a fancy ice cream maker) on Lauren’s credit card with the agreement that it be paid off by the end of the summer. With that mission, the company jump-started its production; starting an ice cream CSA (a subscription box service) and doing pop-ups around the city.
Seven years later, Millie’s is a robust business with three scoop shops, four kiosks, an ice cream truck and its own factory in Homestead inside the former Homestead Bakery. It’s first scoop shop sits right down the street from Adda.
Millie’s makes scoop shop classics like vanilla and chocolate but the Townsends also like to get epicurean with their flavors. Chad draws much of his inspiration from seasonal ingredients and the Pittsburgh culinary community. “I like to try to figure out how to take the ideas they are working with and shoehorn them into an ice cream format,” he says.
Lemon yuzu, morning oats (toasted oats with cinnamon and orange) and dairy-free flavors such as mango and brownie batter allow Chad to take Millie’s beyond the classics and into more playful culinary terrain.
It was a culinary meeting of the minds that ultimately pulled Millie’s into Adda’s orbit. Before Adda had even opened its doors, Chad and Adda owner, Sukanta Nag, met through mutual restaurant industry friends at Bar Marco. When Adda moved in down the street from Millie’s Shadyside location, the friendship grew between the shops, with employees trading ice cream and coffee, running gift card partnerships and most importantly, creating an affogato using Adda’s espresso or matcha and Millie’s Chad’s Vanilla, a creamy combination of sweet and earthy flavors.
Today the Millie’s team is still working to create new and interesting flavors and we at Adda can’t wait to taste what they come up with next.