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Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

Focused on Environment and Community

Purple Door Ice Cream in Walker’s Point

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If you’re craving creamy ice cream and flavorful sorbet, Purple Door Ice Cream’s new retail location is unquestionably one of the most delightful ice cream shops to visit in town. Launched in 2011 by Lauren and Steve Schultz, Purple Door began as a wholesale business selling pints to local grocers and large containers to area restaurants. The company’s product is now served in more than 40 Milwaukee restaurants and has expanded its retail reach beyond Milwaukee into Chicago, making their ice cream available in more than 60 grocery stores. But most exciting for the couple is Purple Door’s first brick-and-mortar location in Walker’s Point (205 S. Second St.) that opened this past April.

This inviting curbside shop offers 20 different varieties of super-premium 14% butterfat ice cream in its dipping cabinet daily, from the typical flavors we all know and love to crazy combinations that beg to be tried. What makes this husband-and-wife team’s ice cream so unique? The ingredients. “We only use natural ingredients (minus the Oreos) and natural food coloring,” says Lauren. “We also source locally. Milwaukee is an awesome spot to be because there are so many fantastic food producers. We believe it’s a great way to support the local businesses in town—when the community supports us, they are supporting those businesses too!” Such partners include Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company, Stone Creek Coffee Roasters, Great Lakes Distillery, Rishi Tea, The Spice House, Penzyes Spices, Honeypie and Growing Power, to name a few, and cream and milk are sourced from Wisconsin dairies. “Most anything can go into ice cream and we love creating new flavors. It is super fun and challenging too,” Lauren adds.

What are their best-selling flavors? Lauren says Salted Caramel is on top with Whiskey not far behind. Some of the shop’s latest ice creams include Lemon Cardamom, Juniper Berry and Lime, and Brandy Old Fashioned. “We’re currently working on a graham cracker flavor. We are also very close to perfecting a beer flavor, which people will be really happy for,” says Lauren. Other unique options currently available include Absinthe, Cinnamon, Malted Vanilla, Pear Sorbet, Maple Nut, Chai with Pink Peppercorn, Fig and Black Tea, and many, many more. Can someone say ice cream heaven?

Above and beyond their impeccable ice cream talent, the couple placed high importance on being environmentally friendly when it came to building their first store. Some fun facts: The entire shop is powered by renewable energy; the flooring, a floating, click system that doesn’t require toxic adhesives, is made of 72% recycled content and is 100% recyclable; the walk-off carpeting in the foyer has a backing of 100% post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate; the tangerine countertop along Second Street is 13.5% recycled material; and all of Purple Door’s dishes and spoons are plant-based and compostable. The Shultzes are also planning to integrate a stormwater bioswale onto the building, which will slow water entering the sewer system during major rain events.

In addition to this, the Schultzes wanted to create a strong connection between their store and the Milwaukee community. So they started “Milk for Milwaukee,” a program in which 10 cents from every pint purchased and a portion of all other ice cream profits are used to purchase fresh milk for area homeless shelters. Currently, Purple Door works with four local shelters and the Healing Collective. “There is a huge need for fresh milk and shelters rarely get it,” says Lauren. “To date, we’ve donated over 2,500 gallons of milk. It’s a very exciting part of our business and we are hoping to grow the program a lot.”

There is nothing better than supporting our fantastic community and what better way than with the purchase of delicious ice cream? While enjoying your treat, check out Purple Door’s artsy serving counter decorated with hundreds of spoons collected from the Schultzes friends and family, take a seat on an old-fashioned swivel stool and step outside to watch ice cream being made in the production window. This fun, family friendly ice cream shop making a difference in Milwaukee is definitely a summertime must.


For current dipping cabinet and pint flavors, as well as retail and restaurant locations, visit purpledooricecream.com or call 414-988-2521.